“Frances Ha”
by Noah Baumbach

June 21 2013
4:50 PM

Anyone who’s watched The Squid and the Whale (2005) and Greenberg (2010) is definitely looking forward to the new picture by Noah Baumbach, the American director also known for writing the screenplay for Wes Anderson’s film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004). Baumbach’s signature style is a delicate and subtle, yet caustic representation of the neuroses of the well-educated bourgeois, with a disheartened eye for family dysfunction and midlife crises. Recently premiered at the Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals in late 2012 and due to hit theaters in May, Frances Ha tells the story of a twenty-seven-year-old apprentice dancer fumbling through jobless post-college life in Brooklyn, who finds herself out on the street when her best friend Sophie moves into her dream flat in Tribeca. Greta Gerwig, who starred in Greenberg, co-wrote the script and  plays Frances with a radiant and enchantingly physical performance, adding warmth and generosity to Baumbach’s abrasive wit. An ode to the city of New York filmed in black and white, the film has aroused countless comparisons with Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979); though the mumblecore vibe and the actor/director liaison rather  bring another example to mind: Jim Jarmush’s 1984 gem Stranger Than Paradise, no less, co-written with, starred and scored by John Lurie, whose teaser opened, importantly and aptly, with the statement, “A New American Film.” (Cristina Travaglini)