Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

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“Frances Ha” (2012) Review

★★★★⋆ (4.5/5)
(Image source: Rotten Tomatoes)

“Frances lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer.”

This particular description of Noah Baumbach’s 2012 film “Frances Ha” really stood out to me prior to watching the black and white comedy-drama. IMDb’s contradictory summary gave me extremely high expectations along with a strong feeling of intrigue.

This modern take on French New Wave cinema follows Frances Halladay “unnoticeably” struggling her way through New York City. “Unnoticeably” because although she chases an unattainable spot at her dance company, cannot seem to find a stable apartment to call home and is rapidly drifting from her closest friend Sophie, Halladay manages to remain optimistic and somewhat carefree.

Co-writer and star of “Frances Ha,” Greta Gerwig, was undeniably the cause of Halladay’s enchanting personality. In addition, everything about how Gerwig presented her character felt extremely real and natural. I was particularly drawn in by Gerwig’s mannerisms; her awkward motions and just the overall way she speaks was undoubtedly a large factor of why I liked this movie so much.

“Frances Ha” is a challenging film to create a proper synopsis for; there isn’t really one major event or big “thing” that occurs. However, Baumbach’s use of cinematography, dialogue and color (or lack thereof) engages the audience throughout the duration of the under-90-minute film.

Known for making comedies set in New York City, Baumbach has created a name for himself since his directing debut in 1995 with the comedy-drama, “Kicking and Screaming.” Baumbach has also aided in creating titular movies such as Academy Award winning, “Marriage Story,” as well as recent hit, “Barbie.”

Although I liked this film even more than I knew I would, one major factor in my evaluation was the film’s lack of a concise plot. Additionally, any sort of resolution Halladay finds only comes within the last few minutes; and even then it feels kind of empty and predictable. For instance, at the end of the film Halladay shares a comforting, familiar smile with best friend Sophie as if to say, “I’m grown up now.” Continuing with the “maturity” resolution, Halladay attains a job choreographing as well as the respect and admiration of her former dance teacher.

Despite the absence of plot, “Frances Ha” is such an engrossing, powerful and pivotal movie. With that being said, I would give “Frances Ha” a strong four and a half stars out of five.


Image: Rotten Tomatoes

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