Frances Ha (2012) Review

My favorite kinds of films are the ones where we focus on a person with a dream and see them come of age, hence the genre “coming of age”. So I was really excited to watch Noah Baumbach’s film, Frances Ha as it is about a 27 year old girl named Frances who is trying to follow her dream of being a choreographer in New York City and her inability to stay in one apartment, constantly bouncing between living situations. I enjoyed Frances Ha, maybe not as much as I thought I was going to but it was still a really enjoyable and heartfelt film that has more positive then negative.

The absolute standout thing about the film is Greta Gerwig, who both co-wrote and stars as Frances. I absolutely adored her performance as I really found myself connecting with her and putting myself in her shoes because I found a lot of things that related to me. It’s my goal to make a film one day and with that comes a lot of strength and perseverance as you take a lot of failure before you are successful as is the case with any job. Seeing this girl act so much like herself and goofy just made me smile because I found her to be a lot like myself. You never feel Frances is ever annoying but she is just herself and doesn’t care about acting how other people think she should. As a Star Wars diehard, seeing Kylo Ren himself, Adam Driver was of course a treat as I really enjoy him as an actor and damnit he is just so cool and likable in his role as Lev, one of France’s few roommates she lives with throughout the 86 minute runtime. Every time he was on screen I just wanted to see what he was doing because he was oozing with likability.  Everybody else in the movie was well cast and performed really well but these were the two performances that I really enjoyed.

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The film is presented in black and white and I always find myself drawn in when a film from 1990 to present day is in black and white. One of my favorite all time movies, Clerks, is in black and white. I really thought the choice of black and white worked really well here save for a couple lighting issues where it felt sort of dark in a couple scenes. I did however enjoy how free and well done the camera work was and thought it felt very reminiscent of Woody Allen. This film feels like a 70’s movie about millennials and I really liked that. My negatives with the film are with the second half. At a certain point, Frances is at dinner with a few people and it just gets extremely choppy due to her decision to do something and I was like to myself, “wow where did that come from?” I get Baumbach was trying to showcase that this young woman’s life is very sporadic and when she thinks of something, she just does it, but from a pacing standpoint, it felt really like sudden. I think that problem I had lies with the pacing. Towards the ending of the film, I knocked the remote’s button and the time came up on Netflix and showed 25 minutes remaining which kind of made me sigh because I really thought what I was watching was the ending of the film.

Still, besides those flaws, the film has really fantastic direction, a truly mesmerizing performance from Greta Gerwig, and a good amount of heart to warrant me recommending this to anyone who like me, loves coming of age films and films about dreamers.

 

Grade: B

 

Kyle’s Next Film:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)

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Batman v Superman is a really unique movie in that it has one of the most mixed receptions of any movie ever made. Kyle really likes the theatrical cut, I also did when I saw it even if I was left feeling like I missed something. Well I got that something when Warner Bros released the true BVS we wanted on Blu-Ray. This R-rated 182 minute superhero epic is the film both we deserved and should have gotten last March when BVS was released. It still amazes me this is an ultimate edition and not the theatrical. Kyle, I hope you enjoy this movie as I know you will and once you do, you’ll never be able to watch the theatrical cut ever again.

 


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