'Frances Ha': A Fresh Modern Comedy About a Young Woman Struggling to Find Her Place in Life
Frances Ha (2013) is a spirited and witty comedy-drama starring Greta Gerwig as Frances Halladay, a 20-something New Yorker striving to make sense of her existence. Shot entirely in black and white, the film charts Frances' often surprising turns of fate as she juggles a fledgling dance career with relationship complexities and her close friendship with college roommate Sophie (Mickey Sumner).
Residing with Sophie in a Brooklyn apartment, Frances' world is thrown into tumult after Sophie decides to relocate to Manhattan. A struggling dance company apprentice, Frances is forced to move in with her friends Lev (Adam Driver) and Benji (Michael Zegen) in Chinatown before she loses her job entirely. We follow as Frances is subsequently set adrift, traipsing from New York to California, Poughkeepsie to Paris in search of friendship and opportunity—lamenting her hardships yet maintaining an appealing air of whimsy.
Co-written and directed by Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, A Marriage Story), Frances Ha is a fresh take on the classic New York comedy, with a wonderful air of fancifulness courtesy of lead actress and co-writer Gerwig. Her buoyancy carries the storyline along a path of discovery—her character juggling the stresses of urban life with a broader yearning for purpose. Indeed it's the materialization of adulthood that looms largest for Frances, with her resilience at the heart of Baumbach's uniquely candid tale of self-realization.
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