Frances Ha

By John McFarland | Posted on July 8th, 2013


I know it is only July but if you are like me, you are already feeling summer blockbuster movie fatigue. Which makes the recent wide release of Toronto Film Festival hit Frances Ha such a pleasant surprise. It is directed by Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) and stars the increasingly in-demand indie film actress Greta Gerwig. As well, the two also wrote the deftly comedic script together. Frances Ha harkens back to best days of American film, when theaters were packed with audiences who loved character driven smart scripts. Frances Ha, also the name of the main character of the film, is one of those deeply flawed beauties – completely “undateable” as one of her friends describe her. Yet because of the wonderful performance by Greta Gerwig, we become entranced by this 20-something character as she bumbles her way through life. Baumbach obviously loves this character as well, the movie sometimes feel voyeuristic in its intimacy, as if he like the viewer is trying to solve the mystery of this person. The film is shot in black and white, giving it even more nostalgic feel, and it brings to mind Woody Allen’s masterpiece Manhattan. In fact, you can go as far to say that Frances herself is almost a modern update of Diane Keaton’s quirky Annie Hall. Stylish, thought provoking, and a joy to watch, Frances Ha is a representative of a bygone era, a sort of anti-blockbuster summer movie. Pair it one evening with Before Midnight, and you will have the best double bill of the summer – it may just make you fall back in love with American movies again.

View the trailer here:


  Return to Editor's Journal