Frances Ha

Frances Ha ★★★★½

so after watching a coffee in berlin, i of course read a lot of reviews (a post-watch ritual of sorts for me), and i saw so many people compare frances ha to that, and since this film was already on my priority watchlist i decided to give it a go. and i'm very pleased to have done so, as i feel the two films are very synonymous, as other people had remarked, so it feels right somehow to view them in succession. but frances ha, in my opinion, is far superior in a lot of ways.

the direction is soo much clearer here than in a coffee with berlin. this film knows what it is, what it wants to be in the future, and what it can be in the transitional space between the "now" and the "then", which i think is what its companion piece (of sorts) lacked or was missing. i do think the fact that acib took place only in one day, while frances ha took place over a span of time did help play a part in how effective the story ended up being. the drive of the characters is present, the script works in such an intuitively perceptive way, and the main character is *imagine this* actually able to be liked and connected to in a much more relatable way. frances feels reachable, tangible; she is any one of us, maybe all of us, and that universality is so important with the kind of spectative approachability that is necessary for this kind of piece to work.

not only is the film depicting life as a struggling young adult with the world just out of grasp, it is also at the same time metaphorically commenting on that same subject in a broader, less explainable way. it's like a philosophical double entendre and it works so successfully. it's like you can sense both of these aspects working together to create one blended and fully realized picture, without the mistake of both forms of storytelling being overbearing or out of balance with each other.. because to have the specific frame of reference while also having the presence of the more abstract picture inside of that frame, well now.. THAT'S a finished painting, isn't it?

here, the B&W worked for me, as it wasn't so much about trying too hard in a hipster way to be moody (yes i'm looking at you, acib) as it was an earnest way to sober a rather light-hearted and awkwardly lovable character, so that you could believe her struggle and her transformative journey, as opposed to questioning the validity of her affray, as you might have if this more gloomy approach wasn't taken to showcase the character's layered duality and dynamic dimension. i also have to praise greta gerwig's acting (and writing -- she co-wrote the screenplay), as she has a quite charming naturalistic essence that seeps through in every moment; she is what they call a Scene Stealer.

i love what this film did and said, and i love that it didn't smirk at its own self for being intelligent or accomplishing a goal. this also helped me see what greta was trying to do with lady bird in a new light, and i think a rewatch of that would allow me to see it with softer eyes. job well done, everything came full circle in this one, and it's a yes from me!

(part of my priority watchlist of 2019)

(greta gerwig - ranked)

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