Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Frances Ha Review - 3½ Stars

Greta Gerwig plays a young woman starting her life in New York with so much optimism and joy that it spills out into the audience.  After the first few minutes of “Frances Ha” we really care what happens to her.  She wants to dance, but can’t quite dance.  She has a best friend and roommate played by Mickey Sumner.  But the lease expires and Mickey finds a boyfriend and the girls go on their separate ways.  She’s not poor but she has to support herself — a daunting challenge for an artist in today’s economy.  “Frances Ha” keeps circling back to the bond between Frances and  Sophie and its importance, even as the two fight and separate.  Greta captures a young woman somewhere between her teens and adulthood gradually accepting the trade offs that come with growing up.   The film itself is one of the year’s most beautiful, shot in dazzling black and white. It makes New York, Paris, and even Sacramento, California look magical.  “Frances Ha” reminds me of Woody Allen’s classics “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan”— “Frances Ha” captures a certain something of our time.  I can’t quite put it into words but I really didn’t want this to end.  It may be a little talky and wandering for some.  Too bad because “Frances Ha” is a gem.  Does it deliver what it promises?  A story about growing into adulthood.  Is it entertaining?  Captivating.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Absolutely.