Autumn 2013 Features series
Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 7:00pm
Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:00pm
Directed by Noah Baumbach
Screenplay by Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig
Starring Mickey Sumner, Greta Gerwig, and Adam Driver
Rated 14A ·
Directed by Noah Baumbach (Greenberg, The Squid and the Whale) and shot in breathtaking black and white by Sam Levy, Frances Ha tells the story of a woman who lives in New York, but does not really have an apartment, who is an apprentice for a dance company, though she is not really a dancer, and who has a best friend named Sophie (Mickey Sumner), but they are not really speaking anymore. Frances (Greta Gerwig, To Rome with Love, Greenberg) throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. She wants so much more than she has but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness. This modern comic fable explores New York, friendship, class, ambition, failure, and redemption.
“If anyone lives completely in the moment, it is Frances, who is so many, often contradictory, things at once, it is difficult to know where to begin—or end—in describing her.
Feckless and rootless, gawky and graceful, over-analytical and uncertain, always apologizing yet often oblivious, Frances is making a hash out of her own life because she does not know any better. If there is a wrong turn to be made, she will take it; if there is a way to sabotage herself, she will find it. A more or less disposable person for everyone she knows, she is aware that adult life is beyond her capacity at present. ‘I’m so embarrassed,’ she says. ‘I’m not a real person yet.’
And yet there is something unmistakably endearing about Frances, something winning in her vulnerability and her pluck, the way she bounces back like a Joe Palooka toy from her many misadventures. She is unmistakably good-hearted, and it is impossible not to root for her as she throws herself into life and tries to determine if there can be a place there for her. Frances’ woeful mantra in these struggles, which she brandishes whenever life’s pressures become too great, is the defensive ‘I’m not messy, I’m busy.’
Effortless and effervescent, Frances Ha is a small miracle of a movie, honest and funny with an aim that’s true. It’s both a timeless story of the joys and sorrows of youth and a dead-on portrait of how things are right now for one particular New York woman who, try as she might, can’t quite get her life together.” (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
“The writing is so musical, so attuned to human frailty and aspiration, that I defy anyone to watch the movie without smiling — with amusement one minute, rueful recognition the next, but probably always with some measure of simple, undiluted delight.” (Ann Hornaday, Washington Post)