Frances Ha stars Greta Gerwig as the titular Frances, an aspiring dancer that struggles to navigate New York City as she slowly realizes her dreams aren’t matching up to her far less glamorous reality.
So I had watched this movie once before in high school and I remember thinking it was good, but now seeing it as a young adult woman working in New York City, it might honestly be a new favorite. I’ve never related to a movie more in my life. The privileged Brooklyn vibe of people paying an extreme amount of rent with the flippancy of most likely having parents who pay it for them. The mythos surrounding New York versus the reality. The thrill of a tax rebate check. The Brooklyn boys who try to impress you with vintage cameras and thrift store hats they actually paid a lot of money for (sooo my type unfortunately). It’s like if Girls was more self aware and far more charming.
“The only people can afford to be artists in New York are rich”
I love the choice to shoot this film in black and white. It gives such a cool feel to the story. With an incredible sound track that feels vintage in a both 80s punk way and a classical way all at once, it matches the black and white vintage aesthetic of its main character. Off-kilter and incredibly smart, the cinematography and the script reflect the quirky vibe of the film’s director, Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale), and its co-writer and star, Greta Gerwig, have built their careers upon.
It really captures the feeling of being a middle class kid in a rich kid city and wanting to be an artist without having the New York level of talent. Moving to New York and trying to find your niche is overwhelming and stressful and sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes plans fall through, but new plans open up and they were what was always meant to happen. Frances is just such a likeable character. She’s impulsive and freewheeling, but she’s there for her friends and she tries her best to realize her dream, even as it evolves and changes in front of her.
All I’m saying is I am immensely happy Greta Gerwig has found Oscar recognition with Lady Bird because she’s so friggin talented. Watching this after Lady Bird actually clarifies a lot, as the are both definitely at least semi-autobiographical. If you like one, you’ll probably like the other just as much. Gerwig is onscreen for every single scene in this movie and you never get sick of it. She’s so charming and compelling and you root for her every step of the way. She’s the perfect foil for all the characters around her. This flick may have a slow quirky/indie burn to it, but stick with it to the end. You won’t regret it.
Amy’s Recommendation: 10/10
Also P.S. although not a huge part Adam Driver has never been more adorable than this movie. I had to make it the featured photo. He’s a handsome man, what can I say.