Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Michael Esper, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, Charlotte d'Amboise, Grace Gummer, Justine Lupe, Patrick Heusinger, Britta Phillips, Juliet Rylance, Josh Hamilton, Dean Wareham, Maya Kazan, Serena Longley
Written by: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig
Directed by: Noah Baumbach
MPAA Rating: R for sexual references and language
Running Time: 86
Date: 17/05/2013
IMDB

Frances Ha (2013)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

I Love You Sophie

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Writer/director Noah Baumbach is already an expert in the New York artist/intellectual lifestyle, but writing for the first time with his star (and girlfriend) Greta Gerwig, he comes up with his most satisfying, cohesive movie since The Squid and the Whale. Packed with a new kind of appealing, cheerful wit, it's also the most purely enjoyable movie of his career.

Frances (Greta Gerwig) has a great life living in New York with her BFF roommate Sophie (Mickey Sumner) -- until Sophie decides to move out. Frances tries to keep her chin up as she looks for a new place to stay, going through an assortment of quirky roommates. She doesn't have much money but she's hoping that her apprenticeship with a dance company will lead to a job on the Christmas play. Meanwhile, her misadventures include some faux pas at dinner parties, some unwise credit card expenditures, and plenty of witty observances. Will good things ever happen for Frances?

The style in Frances Ha seems simple, but is really quite intricate and complex. It's made up of dozens of spot-on lines of dialogue spoken in rhythmic little scenes. Sometimes the scenes last just seconds, and sometimes much longer. Nothing much except the passing of time connects these scenes; there's no real plot. The glorious black-and-white cinematography, and choice of music, keep things feeling hopeful and romantic, even when things are at their lowest. This is a truly wonderful movie, recalling Woody Allen at his best.

The meaning of the title is revealed in a lovely and hilarious final shot, which I won't reveal here.

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