Frances Ha

From IMDB: A story that follows a New York woman (who doesn’t really have an apartment), apprentices for a dance company (though she’s not really a dancer), and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles.

Question: What does Holly Golightly look like post-Woody Allen?  As it turns out, Greta Gerwig.

Greta Gerwig is far more charming than anyone named “Greta” has any right to be, and it is for this reason primarily that Frances Ha is also.  A character study of a young woman living in New York, it’s central question is whether or not Frances is going to be okay, and not only just is she going to be okay, but more specifically is she going to be okay without Sophie, her best friend whose circumstances have managed to move her further along in life in terms of actually settling down and becoming a “real person,” a status Francis herself recognizes she has not quite yet realized.  Frances is, of course, going to be okay.  She is simply too charming not to be.  And if there is a flaw in the film, it lies in the entirely forgiveable fact that the audience cannot help but know this.

An updated Breakfast at Tiffany’s with modern day sensibilities and friendships in place of romantic entanglements, Frances Ha may never have the cultural cachet of Audrey Hepburn’s film, but it already has the charm.

Watch the trailer.

P.S. – The fact that the film is black and white seems curiously absent from the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.  Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough.  Anyway, it begs the question–why?  I cannot imagine except to say that black and white clarity is something Frances seeks in her world but never will have. Rather, everything about her is distinctly ambiguous–love, friendship, sexuality, and, most importantly, the future.  In this regard her character is an interesting contrast with Flora, from my previous review of Cold Comfort Farm.  Flora sees things with absolute clarity, knows precisely what to do, and proceeds to do it with a purposefulness Frances can only dream of.   That film, of course, is a satire.  Nevertheless, its interesting to see such difference between these portrayals of young womanhood from the early 1930s and mid-2000’s.

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