Dir. Noah Baumbach
Noah Baumbach continues his film-by-film evolution—Margot is the exception that proves the rule—with Frances Ha. It's not as disciplined as Greenberg, nor does it really intend to be, but Frances finds Baumbach as an assured stylist and storyteller behind the camera—and in the great Gerta Gerwig he has found himself a creative force that merges rather beautifully with his own. Gerwig co-wrote the film with Baumbach, and imbues the film with her infectious personality while intelligently alternating between wit and reflexive insight (it's difficult not to draw a direct contemporary comparison to what Lena Dunham is doing on HBO). Frances is a dancer, and Gerwig and Baumbach also engage in an intimate dance of emotions in a subjective tour of metro-middle-class pressures (more academically but also more substantially than Dunham) that organically and fluidly unspools a careful study of diverse settings and moods.