#REVIEW: “FRANCES HA”
Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha centers around a Dance Apprentice soon approaching her 30s, questioning what it is she really wants in life. She lives day-to-day in a free-spirited manner, deeming herself “undateable”, with few worries about the future. Frances’ (Greta Gerwig) world falls apart after her Best Friend and Roommate Sophie (Mickey Sumner) decides to move-in with her Boyfriend Patch (Patrick Heusinger). At the same time, she is faced with the reality that her help no longer will be required in the upcoming Holiday Season at her Dance Company. She is then forced to find herself as she moves from roommate to roommate and job to job, ultimately before hitting her own rock bottom.
Shot entirely in black and white, Frances Ha has an understated elegance to it. Gerwig‘s unconventional beauty and undeniable charisma alone are enough to colour the screen. A modern Ode to the Late Bloomer, truly anyone going through a rough patch in their lives can leave feeling inspiration from the Film. The stakes and rewards never reach great heights, but the challenges are real and I found myself relating completely in Frances’ struggle for direction.
Sumner (Daughter of Rock Legend Sting), a fresh face and name to look-out for, turns-out a solid performance, embodying the complications in Friendship which we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives when a Friend attained something before we did. Rescue Me‘s Michael Zegen lights-up the screen, as we are teased with a lingering chemistry between Gerwig and himself, even if things ultimately never come to fruition for them. Red-hot Girls Star Adam Driver is cast perfectly here, showing us a less abrasive side.
Frances Ha speaks to a generation raised to question the Status Quo and at once encouraged to go against the grain. It is a cute and charming meditation of Self-Discovery. Mongrel Media releases on Friday, June 21, 2013 in Toronto and Vancouver, followed by additional cities.