Frances Ha

Frances Ha ★★★½

After watching my first mumblecore movie (Drinking Buddies), I wanted to see another for comparison's sake and friends here mentioned this film by director Noah Baumbach. It's the story of a 27-year old dancer named Frances (Greta Gerwig), whose career, love life and closest friendship are all falling apart, and the choices she makes en route to discovering her own priorities and gaining self-respect.

I guess I found more differences than similarities. First, improvisation is almost non-existent in this film. It was heavily scripted. Also, this was rendered in black & white, which really made the photography stand out ... often more than the acting. And I found the choice of music selected for the soundtrack highly distracting in places, almost editorial. This film has more of a beginning, middle and end. It also closes on an upbeat note, giving the feeling that some progress has been made.

What was similar was the episodic nature of the storytelling, which concentrates on the interpersonal relationships of 20-somethings finding their way in life. I guess I'll have to see some more mumblecore to get a full grasp of the genre, but as indie films go, this one was really quite good.

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