Frances Ha

Frances Ha ★★★

For the first 20 minutes I was essentially actively disliking this movie, dismissing it as the same sort of mumblecore bullshit, which isn't just one of my least favourite types of filmmaking, but one of my least favourite things, period. But it's not quite as obnoxiously self-conscious or dull as that, nor does it pursue awkwardness for awkwardness' sake. I remember there was a great joke that clicked with me ("this apartment is so aware of itself") that from then on, I was onboard with the film.

It's often very funny, and Gerwig is a great and empathetic presence. I thought the B/W cinematography was ugly and not utilised particularly well, some scenes seemed too dark and careless, but it wasn't that jarring, just a stylistic decision that I don't think was implemented as well as they intended. Otherwise, it was a good movie - hardly revolutionary (it feels like an hour and half of HBO's Girls, and thus Adam Driver's role seems like some pretty uninspiring casting), but solid. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a must-watch cinema outing, but it's solid stuff. 3-3.5 stars, and I'm feeling generous today.

EDIT: I watched Before Midnight almost immediately after this, and considering their both talky, American indie films they made for a good comparison, and this one doesn't benefit from said juxtaposition. As I reasoned my rating for BM to 4 stars, no way this is 3 1/2. So settles on 3.

b liked this review