Frances Ha

Frances Ha ★★★★★

Damn.

If Lady Bird represents the essence of adolescence, then Frances Ha is the perfect encapsulation of what comes next: the crippling reality of young adulthood. It’s an era of no defined path to go down, leading to a long string of trial and error, hoping that what you chose to major in in college wasn’t in vain. Bouncing from job to job, apartment to apartment, scraping by to make ends meet; it’s a constant battle with seemingly no end in sight. It’s not a stable life, but it is what it is.

Despite focusing on such a haphazard part of a young woman’s life, the tone of the film is surprisingly laidback, even a bit whimsical at times. And that’s because, no matter what generation it is, there are always friends to fall back on. As time goes on, you might gain some, you might lose some, but socializing with those who are in the same boat as you really does help. They can make even the most hard-hitting of times feel a little easier to take, and they can be the ones to push you to be your best self.

In that same vein, it’s fair to say that Frances Ha is primarily a story about self discovery above all else. The mounting pressure of the younger generation is simply having to figure out your path, to find what works best for you before settling into it until retirement. And in a world that’s increasing its varieties of occupations while also becoming increasingly unstable in the process, it really does feel like an uphill battle to find the path that best suits you. You may not get the job you always dreamed of having (in fact, you probably won’t), but it certainly isn’t a bad idea to at least give it a go. Because it’s like the old saying goes: if you shoot for the stars, even if you don’t reach them, you’ll probably still land on the moon.

If this review seems a bit messier than my normal reviews, that’s because I’m genuinely having a hard time gathering my thoughts on it. It really did affect me on a deeply personal level. As someone that constantly worries about his place in this world, at least I know that I can always fall back on this film for comfort. It is a shining testament to those like me, who have yet to know what they are going to do, and are sometimes too afraid to ask.

Criterion Challenge 2021

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