Movie Review – Frances Ha (2012)

Director: Noah Baumbach

Stars: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Michael Esper, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, Patrick Heusinger

Frances (Gerwig) is a young woman whose passion is dance, but she’s stuck being an understudy in the company she works for. But she lives with her best friend, and constantly refers to them as being the same person but with different hairstyles. However, when Sophie tells Frances that she’s moving out a schism occurs in their friendship, and Frances has to re-evaluate her place in the world and her purpose.

Frances Ha is a charming film that will resonate with people who have gone through their twenties. It shows a creative person’s struggles to make a career out of their passion, and the pain of seeing people you love grow up. In Frances’ world she obviously wanted to live with Sophie for an indefinite amount of time, but Sophie wanted to get married and move on with her boyfriend, while Frances was stuck in a certain arrested development mindset, where she didn’t want things to change too dramatically.

But, to be fair to her, she does change it up a lot and tries new things. Gerwig is completely endearing in the role, and while I think the character is a little too quirky to be real, Gerwig imbues her with sympathy and I found myself genuinely invested in the character. The supporting cast is equally as good, and it encapsulates the transient nature of growing up as people move in and out of your life.

The film is American but has a European feel for it is shot in black and white, and is offbeat and quirky. It’s very much a slice of life story without a strong narrative thread running through it, but thanks to Gerwig’s performance and the strong script I was involved the whole way through. It’s paced well and there are moments where I was laughing out loud. It’s an excellent film, and one I highly recommend.

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