Frances Ha comes from the creative minds of Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, as incredible as that sounds, what's the result?
Frances Ha feels like a very formative film. It not only tackles themes of adulthood and life in your late 20s it feels instrumental in the chronology of some of Hollywood’s shining figures.
Noah Baumbach, dir. Marriage Story, directs and co-writes with Greta Gerwig, dir. Lady Bird and Little Women, who also plays the lead. We also see Adam Driver (Star Wars and Marriage Story) and Mickey Sumner, (American Made and Marriage Story) in fairly significant roles, relatively early into their Hollywood careers.
It’s a film with palpable charm, Gerwig is delightful as Frances, she brings real energy and childlike awe to a role that could’ve very easily become overly naive and irritating. We are guided through Frances’ life, experiencing her friendships and hardships. It’s ultimately a film about identity, as Frances grows away from tying herself to the people around her and developing her own independence. We are shown this originally through the use of title cards, noting where Frances is living at that point in the film, creating an almost episodic feel. However, as Frances grows as a character, these cease. We see that she has grown as a character, she is far more independent and self-fulfilled. She has always been unique, but now her own internalised fears and limitations have been overcome, allowing her to express herself fully. We see this through the art she creates and ultimately, she decides to live alone- a step for a character previously so tied to the people she lived with.
I love this film, it has definitely become one of favourites, the Baumbach direction is clear and the script feels like a great harmony of his and Gerwig’s evident style. It might not be deeply profound, but it sure is lovable and oozing with charm and charisma. It’s a definite watch, especially with all this time we’ve found on our hands. 9/10.