Director: Noah Baumbach
Writers: Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
Viewed: at CUFF 2013
Frances Ha will change your life: Frances Ha is the story of a contemporary dancer who is working towards being part of a dance company on a full-time basis. She lives in New York with her best friend Sophie with whom she is extremely close. They sleep in the same bed, say I love you to each other a lot, and have these big dreams of living these full and exciting lives. As Frances puts it, they’re like a lesbian couple minus the sex. Then one day, Sophie moves out, leaving Frances unable to pay rent by herself, which forces Frances to find a new place to live. She moves in with rich art kids with differing values in a beautiful apartment she thinks she’ll be able to afford better once she gets a part in the winter production of her dance company. When she doesn’t, she is forced to find other living arrangements and ultimately ends up living in a dorm room at her old college. As most protagonists would have fallen hard at this point, Frances chooses to make the most of each day. It’s the story of a strong woman who stays true to herself, joyful and full of light and decides to ride the wave instead of being engulfed by it. Frances is not perfect which makes her completely relatable to. She makes reckless errors along the way – like her weekend trip to Paris which leaves her completely penniless – or her stubborn decision to not take the office job proposed by her dance teacher in the meantime of finding a dancing gig. But these errors all ultimately end up being blessings in the form of life experience which takes Frances closer to her dream.
The film itself is filled with hilarious dialogues and quirky humour and the choice of black and white fits the story paradoxically well. It adds this sense of mystery and playfulness. The film wouldn’t be the same in color. Frances Ha is one of the funniest and smartest film I have seen in years. Plus, don’t you want to find out the story behind Frances’ very short last name?