Sunday, 28 July 2013

Frances Ha (2012)

Frances is a normal (well normal-ish) girl, leading a normal life, but from out of nowhere a series of curveballs come at her from nowhere, first her relationship breaks down, then her best friend betrays her, and now her promising career is driven a blow too.  Francis struggles to get her life back on track, but how often does life go quite as it seems?

Writer/Director Noah Baumbach puts a Woody Allenesque spin on what would normally be a fairly fly away girlie flick, he adds a typical mix of nonsense and dry wit, with a little help of Great Gerwig who not only stars as Frances but co-wrote the project. To emphasize the Allen spin, the movie is shot gloriously in black and white, a touch that really adds a sort of timeless charm to the film.

It’s the cringe worthy nature of France Ha that makes the film so utterly irresistible, one minute everything is going swimmingly, the next it’s like a crash course in how to do things so awfully, that Larry David would have difficulty keeping up. Whether it’s a very public outburst, or a self-contained series of acts you cannot help but look at this movie with an almost fixed grimace on your face, but in a really good way.

You cannot help but compare Frances Ha to not only Woody Allen’s early work, but also the cutting edge new HBO series Girls, the connection is not helped by the inclusion of one of its stars Adam Driver. Frances Ha is so similar in many ways; it’s a little bit difficult to find the divide between the two, but more power to this project.

While it’s easy to spend times comparing Frances Ha to other projects, it does find it’s own territory, it’s so much more emotional, more tragic, and of course much more funny. When you sit down to watch the film, for most it will be quite a long way away from what you are expecting it to be, and as you allow yourself to submerge into this world, you discover you really, really, do not want to leave it.

Frances Ha is in selected cinemas across the UK now. 

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