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New York Film Festival Preview: Frances Ha

October 3, 2012

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Screenings:

Sunday, September 30, 6:30pm (Alice Tully Hall)

Thursday, October 4, 9pm (Alice Tully Hall)

Wednesday, October 10, 4pm (Francesca Beale Theater)

Venue: Lincoln Center, NYC

Series: NYFF50: Main Slate

She breaks up with her boyfriend and begins to lose her newly engaged best friend. Things are not looking up for Frances, a struggling dancer in her late 20s who finds herself practically couch surfing throughout New York City. Her life didn’t turn out quite the way she expected, and as a result, she’s forced to face the challenges of just plain living. In his directorial follow-up to 2010′s Greenberg, Noah Baumbach once again collaborates with lead actress Greta Gerwig (who also wrote the script with Baumbach) in Frances Ha. Where this coming-of-age tale falls flat on story, it more than makes up for in character. No doubt, the film’s black-and-white cinematography adds a touch of quirkiness to complement the dynamic characters of Frances and her best friend Sophie (played by Mickey Sumner). Frances’s hopes, dreams, and disappointments play out in a relatable fashion that isn’t too heavy. It is easy to see ourselves in her position, struggling to reconcile our dreams with our reality. The film is heavy on dialogue with little quiet time, setting off the pace at which Frances’s life unravels—and it does so to the point where she finds herself working and living at her old college for a summer, illustrating a very clear regression. Frances Ha is a delightful movie with memorable performances by both Gerwig and Sumner. Following Baumbach’s terrific showing with Oscar-nominated The Squid and the Whale (2005), the writer/director lost his footing a bit with Margot at the Wedding (2007) and to a lesser degree with Greenberg. Thankfully, he’s back in peak form with Frances Ha.

Limité Rating: 4/5

Director: Noah Baumbach

Genres: Narrative, Comedy

Country: USA

Language: English

Runtime: 86 min.

Note: Greta Gerwig and Mickey Sumner will be participating in a free conversation, courtesy of NYFF Live on Monday, October 1 at 7pm in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, located in Lincoln Center at 144 W. 65th St., NYC.

The 50th New York Film Festival runs from September 28 – October 14, 2012.

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