Thursday, February 25, 2016
Review: Frances Ha (2012)
Gerwig's Post-College Years.
Life begins again. Our scientific observations of flawed creatures turns to the feminine perspective, which is a great way for Baumbach to avoid trampling over material already covered. Cultivating human relationships require different strategies, career choices fail for different reasons and anxiety is absorbed, rarely discharged.
It takes awhile for the film to reveal itself as a much simpler entity: a snapshot of a dying friendship. For a long time you are languishing in a stattaco series of (you guessed it) uncomfortable situations brought on by Metropolitan-tude and a simmering mess of a main character. New York City characterized in My Dinner with Andre as a concrete prison built and happily occupied by its prisoners seems especially true here, even more so when contrasted with a sunny second act trip to Sacramento, glimpses of fun quickly forgotten when the problems return. Will she ever... uh... what was the goal again?
The film is barely about anything else and doesn't possess much of a dramatic arc (absent even an 'ending' where the music rises and cuts to credits on a symbolic throwaway line), but it's delightful. It approaches a classicism that makes you long for an era where movies like this could just be made. I guess they still can be.