29 July 2013 2:29 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Greta Gerwig shines as a privileged drifter struggling to grow up in a film she co-scripted with Noah Baumbach

Greta Gerwig, a Californian educated in New York, emerged from that low-budget area of American independent cinema known for its stumbling verbosity as "mumblecore", first making an impression in the 2008 movie Hannah Takes the Stairs as a would-be playwright with a temporary job in Chicago. Noah Baumbach's parents were writers. Raised in the Manhattan literary world, he was educated at Vassar, the prestigious Ivy League college that went co-educational in 1969, and established himself as a writer-director in 2006 with the semi-autobiographical The Squid and the Whale. His leading characters both male and female are spiky misfits, deliberately alienating themselves from their families. Although his genre is comedy, laughter isn't always his object.

Gerwig first worked with Baumbach in his 2010 film Greenberg, giving an outstanding performance as a sad Los Angeles dreamer with musical ambitions, »

- Philip French

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