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TIFF Review: 'Frances Ha '

"Frances Ha" is the latest film by Oscar-nominee Noah Baumbach

By: Ilan Mester
Published: September 16th, 2012 in Culture » Film » Reviews
Greta Gerwig as FrancesPic: TIFF

It’s almost impossible to leave Frances Ha without at least a tiny smile on your face. Noah Baumbach’s new black and white film is thoughtfully funny and incredibly entertaining to watch.

Frances Ha marks the second time the Academy Award-nominee and Greta Gerwig (Greenberg, To Rome With Love) team up for a movie. It’s worth pointing out that Gerwig (who plays the titular character) also co-wrote the flick with Baumbach.

The movie tells the story of a 27-year-old New York City dancer (Gerwig) who’s stuck in that awkward almost-adult phase. Frances has her own place, but she struggles to make rent. She would rather live with her best friend than with her boyfriend. She has no problem seeing a kids movie like Puss in Boots.

Frances can’t help but be clumsy and self-destructive. And as a viewer, you can’t help but feel for her. Greta Gerwig delivers one of her best performances to-date. She makes Frances highly relatable and likable, which helps viewers connect with her character and root for her throughout the film.

The movie premiered just this month and its already drawing comparisons to Lena Dunham’s Emmy-nominated show, Girls. Both projects are about 20-somethings living in Brooklyn who are trying to get their acts together. On top of that, Frances Ha borrows Adam Driver (who plays Dunham’s quirky love interest on her HBO series). However, don’t go into the movie expecting to see back-to-back episodes of Girls -- the two projects are quite different.

One of the highlights of Frances Ha is its script -- Gerwig and Baumbach did a fantastic job with the screenplay. The movie features awesome lines such as, “Don’t treat me like I’m a three-hour brunch friend.” Frances Ha will definitely be a bright point in what will hopefully be long careers for Baumbach and Gerwig.

Related articles: tiff, review, Frances Ha, Greta Gerwig, toronto 2012, Noah Baumbach
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