Frances Ha

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

This 2012 movie has received the Criterion Collection treatment, so it's arty. It had been sitting in my Netflix queue for a long time, and it was available for streaming; I hit the button. It stars Greta Gerwig as the titular Frances, and she also co-wrote with her "partner" Noah Baumbach, who directed.

Frances has dreams of being a dancer in New York City. (A respectable one, leaving her clothes on.) Even my untrained eye can tell that's a misguided career choice, bordering on delusional. She's tall, noticeably non-willowy, and clumsy. Still she persists.

She lives with her college best friend, Sophie. Their relationship is complicated by the men in their lives. Frank and detailed discussions of their sexual behavior are included, and I would imagine at least some theatre presentations were marred by people in the audience shouting "Too much information!" The movie covers a few subsequent months, as Frances' declining professional life is paired with personal changes.

I liked Greta Gerwig a lot in the quirky comedy Damsels in Distress. She's not quite as likeable here, but still managed to hold my what-happens-next interest.

Trivial points:

  • "Hey, isn't that Kylo Ren?" Yes, it was.

  • Also in a small role: Grace Gummer, Meryl Streep's daughter.

  • IMDB reports that Ms. Gerwig appears in every scene; apparently that's unusual.

  • In a sweet move, Frances' parents are played by Ms. Gerwig's actual parents.