This film may look like one of those annoyingly mannered independent films, with its wacky young cast and arty-farty black and white photography, but it's actually a fresh, smart and very funny comedy. It also features one of the most honest female characters in recent memory: Frances is a true original who is awash in optimism as she tries to navigate the obstacles in her life.
Gerwig has made a career of playing quirky goofballs (see Damsels in Distress), and Frances is definitely offbeat. But she's also likeable and real. She lives in New York with her best pal Sophie (Sumner). But their close bond is strained when Frances' romance with her boyfriend (Esper) collapses while Sophie moves forward with her partner Patch (Heusinger). Now Frances needs to find a new place to live, so she moves in with Lev and Benji (Driver and Zegen). She's also pushing her dance company director (d'Amboise) for more work. While everyone around her is growing up and building their lives, she seems to be going backwards. But she never lets that get her down.
Frances is such an engaging character that we can't help but fall for her. Her relentlessly positive approach to life may seem corny, but she also insists on achieving her goals on her own terms. This may make her progress more difficult, such as when she takes a humiliating job at her old university, but at least she has her integrity. Sort of. Meanwhile the film is punctuated with moments of hilarious slapstick, sarcasm and relationships that ring sometimes painfully true. And at the centre is her strained but unshakable bond with Sophie.
Continue reading: Frances Ha Review
Frances Handley is a 27-year-old aspiring modern dancer and an apprentice for a dance company, though she has no real talent in the art. She lives in an apartment in New York with her best friend Sophie who is smarter and much more mature with an ambition in publishing. As time goes on, their bond begins to weaken as their lives take different courses and their personalities take different courses. Sophie wants to move out with another friend of hers leaving Frances to work out her own life and take care of herself for once in her life. Will this pair be separated forever by romance, ambition and growing older, or will they find it in themselves to reconcile?
'Frances Ha' is a black and white comedy drama with many similar qualities to a rom com, except platonic. It has been directed by Noah Baumbach ('The Squid and the Whale', 'Greenberg') who also co-wrote the screenplay with the movie's star Greta Gerwig ('Hannah Takes the Stairs', 'Nights and Weekends'). It looks at love in a way that is rarely explored in movies these days and has so far received immense reviews since its premiere at Toronto Film Festival. It is set to hit screens on July 26th 2013.
Release date 26th July 2013
Continue: Frances Ha Trailer
Terrence Mann and Charlotte D'amboise - New Dramatists Spring Luncheon held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel - New York, NY, United States - Tuesday 21st May 2013
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