Friday, January 31, 2014

Saturday Movies: Frances Ha (2012)

I had been wanting to watch this movie for a really long time. There was just something that screamed Holly about it, and I was right. There is also something very Woody Allen about it as well, but with a little more life. Anyways, Noah Baumbach directs this movie, and brings to life Frances. Frances for some reason is a very easy to relate to woman, and I think whether male or female, if you're in your twenties, about to be, or already been there is something that to like about this movie and that reminds you of that decade of your life.

Summary: Frances wants to be a dancer and is apprenticing at a dance company though she is not really a dancer. She also is living in New York without an apartment as well. She is from California, but has come to New York to make her dancing dreams work out. The one thing that seems to be real about Frances life that is an illusion she has created is her friendship with Sophie. Sophie though has a successful job, and now she is in a serious relationship. Somehow this makes Frances' world feel as if it is falling apart.

Acting: Greta Gerwig stars as Frances, and while I haven't saw Gerwig in much I did really enjoy her in this movie. She seems like a bit more lively Ellen Page. The way that Frances approaches each situation is also very interesting to watch because they become humorful with Gerwig's ability to act. Mickey Sumner is Sophie, the best friend, and unlike Gerwig I just didn't think there was anything charming about her character. It wasn't that I disliked her, but I just felt nothing toward her either that made her someone I wanted to watch. Thankfully Gerwig was the lead though because she was much more entertaining. At least their friendship feels real though. Other than the appearances vary and at different lengths of times, but the other memorable people were Lev portrayed by Adam Driver, and Benji portrayed by Michael Zegen. Driver I think was really great in this movie and I didn't even recognize him as the awkward singer who contributed to the song "Please Mr Kennedy" in Inside Llewyn Davis.

Filming: The movie is noticeably filmed in black and white. In a world of a lot of movies nowadays I figure you gotta do something to stand out! Baumbach though does a good job of explaining why he has chosen to film in black and white despite the fact that nowadays color is easily accessible. The evoking of nostalgia throughout the movie is made more prominent by filming in black and white. It's as if you are older then you're going to be watching in a movie in a way that hopefully reflects a memory, and if you are that way perhaps a memory in progress.

Plot: The plot catches you right from the beginning. The way it jumps from scenario to scenario very quickly as well is an easy way to keep the movie moving. Without it I don't know that it would have maintained being as interesting. The movie is only an hour and 25 minutes, but somewhere about 45 minutes in this movie seems to really just loose whatever was going in it at the beginning. It's still good, but whatever was interesting about the beginning starts to wear off. The focus on Frances and where her life will go never gets old though, and the music used to accompany her sounds like a soundtrack you would imagine even with your own life. I also thought the dynamic of how Frances compares herself to Sophie was believable. As a twenty year old or someone who is at least in that decade you still feel inadequate as an adult. You're getting used to what life has dealt you, and that may not be your dream job so it leaves you feeling a little less than successful, and without the big earning ways of a job you wanted you also feel you aren't able to provide for yourself at all times. It takes time to finally settle in to what is now your life for a long time without the hope of transitioning into bigger dreams like you imagined as a kid. When another person your age seems to be really going places it's hard to look at your own life and feel okay with it for a while until you realize they got their own adult problems.

Frances Ha has dialogue in it I've found my own self saying, and it has humor in it that really fits with the setting. This is a movie about hipsters though, and honestly there is a bit of hipster in all of us. The artistic lifestyle of these characters though isn't pretentious or annoying though because it feels real, or at least Frances does.

Rating 8 of 10.

Frances Ha (2012) on IMDb

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