Greta Gerwig gives a glowing performance as Frances, a twenty-something woman living in New York, who dreams of being a dancer and, despite the obstacles that stand in her way, lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness.
For 21 year old ballet dancers only
- Frances Ha review by JD
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I am most definitely NOT in the target for this film and the chances are you (reader) are also not. It is all about the trials and tribulations of being a 21 year old female dancer living with affluent and articulate artists in New York. It explores every aspect of this in a ruthlessly one directional way. Every job interview, every visit to parents, it is totally boring if you are not engrossed from the start.There is no obvious plot or point. I think it was filmed in black and white to get artistic merit, which it lacks.
The title character in this charming and well made piece of cinema lives her life as she dances; with fluid free movements that, though beautiful, are directionless. When her relationship with best friend Sophie (Mickey Summer) deteriorates however the path that Frances (Greta Gerwig) has been following quickly looses stability and she finds herself guideless and searching for a the road back to security.
With an excellent lead performance by the beautiful and vulnerable Gerwig the film depicts the life of New Yorker Frances whose roommate, best friend and intimate confidante begins to drift from her as she develops a romantic relationship of her own. Do not look for shades of jealousy or any suggestions of closeted lesbianism; this is a film about a very deep friendship, and the consequences of loosing that special connection.
Gerwig, who has worked alongside director Noah Baumbach previously, as well as other neurotic romantics such as Ivan Reitman and the ineffable Woody Allen, seems fated to play the lovely girl whose own insecurity constantly prevents her from maintaining any lasting romantic relationships, and her the likeness between Gerwig and her character is even stronger here, thanks largely to the wonderfully natural and emotionally tangible dialogue which she co-wrote with Baumbach.
Baumbach himself compliments this dialogue with some gorgeously evocative set pieces, a painful telephone conversation between the physically and emotionally distanced Frances and Sophie set against the backdrop of a lonely Parisian café and the beautiful but isolated structure of the Eiffel tower lit up against the night sky. Striking images like this, along with the brilliant script and Frances’ own optimism and almost whimsical introspection make Frances Ha an easy film to enjoy.