Frances Ha: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Frances Ha

New York Film Festival 2012: Frances Ha


Imagine a season of Girls without the think-piece sociology or narcissism, and you’d have Noah Baumbach’s tale of a New Yorker (Greta Gerwig) negotiating clingy friendships, identity crises and a stuck-in-idle life. The emphasis on outer-borough angst and the presence of the mumblecore movement’s poster girl initially suggests a SXSW movie blessed with a more-than-four-figures budget, but the Squid and the Whale auteur has a few aces up his sleeve. His facility for poignant cringe comedy is in full effect, as is Gerwig’s screwball timing (she’s quickly becoming the closest thing we have to a contemporary Jean Arthur), while Sam Levy’s gorgeous b&w cinematography does for Brooklyn what Manhattan once did for Manhattan. We’ve seen way too many tales of twentysomething malaise in the past ten years; Baumbach & Co. make it seem as fresh as a spring morning on Smith Street.—David Fear

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