Frances Ha

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“It plays like a pop record you want to play over and over.” — Jay Kuehner, Cinema Scope

Director: Noah Baumbach
Year: 2012
Country: USA
Running time: 86 mins
Censor Rating: M - offensive language, sexual references

Producers: Noah Baumbach, Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub, Rodrigo Teixeira
Screenplay: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig
Photography: Sam Levy
Editor: Jennifer Lame
Production designer: Sam Lisenco
B&W/DCP

With: Greta Gerwig (Frances), Mickey Sumner (Sophie), Charlotte d’Amboise (Colleen), Adam Driver (Lev), Michael Zegen (Benji), Hannah Dunne (‘Ask Me’ girl), Michael Esper (Dan), Grace Gummer (Rachel), Patrick Heusinger (Patch), Josh Hamilton (Andy)

 “‘I’m not a real person yet,’ stutters the heroine of this cutely serious movie about a hapless dancer flat-hopping around Brooklyn. At 28, without a solid job or stable partner, Frances is flailing, for all the fun she’s having. ‘You look a lot older,’ says someone comparing Frances to her best friend, ‘but you seem far less mature.’

Greta Gerwig – who began in the lo-fi likes of Baghead before graduating to more grown-up roles (Damsels in Distress) – takes a happy back-skip into her mumblecore comfort zone for this black-and-white, semi-improv study. Her genius move is hauling an accomplished filmmaker back into the zone with her. Noah Baumbach, making his most compassionate movie since 2005’s The Squid and the Whale, gives these lives the full French new wave/mid-period Woody Allen treatment, conferring charm and substance on even their most mundane interaction… Gerwig’s performance is full of depth and nuance; self-conscious without being mawkish, clever behind the kook.” — Catherine Shoard, The Guardian

“Shot digitally on the fly, its New York streets rendered in satiny black-and-white, Frances Ha is a patchwork of details that constitute a sort of dating manual – not one that tells you how to meet hot guys, but one that fortifies you against all the crap you have to deal with as a young person in love with a city that doesn’t always love you back…

In the most memorable sequence, Frances makes up an impromptu street ballet to David Bowie’s ‘Modern Love’… The hopefulness of Frances, and of Frances Ha, is a constant. There’s new magic coming – it simply has to catch up with her.” — Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

Festivals: Toronto, New York 2012; Berlin, San Francisco 2013