Watching "Frances Ha"
Published on June 11, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I review the new Noah Baumbach film "Frances Ha."

Here's an excerpt:

"The films of Noah Baumbach often find characters at unsettled moments in their lives.

His brilliant debut, 1995’s 'Kicking and Screaming,' focused on a group of directionless friends in the year following their college graduation. His 2010 film 'Greenberg' cast its lens on an abrasive middle-aged man who moves home to Los Angeles to housesit for his brother and winds up reuniting with and alienating his old friends. Baumbach’s latest film, the extremely enjoyable 'Frances Ha,' tells the story of a young woman who just can’t seem to grow up and get her act together, even though her friends are making the transition to adulthood and leaving her behind.

'Frances Ha' is filmed in lustrous black-and-white, and its fluidity, attention to young adults and sense of joy and heartache recall the films of the French New Wave. But the movie is also clearly influenced by the low-budget American independent films that fall into the so-called mumblecore subgenre. These movies often focus on the dysfunctional romantic lives and career dissatisfaction of aimless young adults. At their best, they have a blunt honesty and sexual frankness that tends to be lacking from more mainstream films; at their worst, they are poorly shot and ugly. It’s as if Baumbach watched these films and thought, 'I can make a better mumblecore film,' rolled up his sleeves and went to work."

Click here to read the whole thing.


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