5.6/10
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22 user 41 critic

Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007)

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Hannah is a recent college graduate interning at a Chicago production company. She is crushing on two writers at work, Matt and Paul, who share an office and keep her entertained. Will a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Hannah
Kent Osborne ...
Matt
...
Paul
...
Rocco
...
Mike
Todd Rohal ...
Brian Duges
...
Minnie
...
Gaby (as Kris Williams)
Kevin Bewersdorf ...
Guy Who Lays Down
Ivan Albertson ...
Stephen
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Storyline

Hannah is a recent college graduate interning at a Chicago production company. She is crushing on two writers at work, Matt and Paul, who share an office and keep her entertained. Will a relationship with one of them disrupt the delicate balance of their friendship? Written by Joe Swanberg

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

22 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hannah Sobe as Escadas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,901 (USA) (24 August 2007)

Gross:

$22,509 (USA) (26 October 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot without a script. See more »

Connections

References 8 ½ Women (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Larry Williams Beat
Composed and Performed by Kevin Bewersdorf
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User Reviews

Ignore the hyped praise and ignore the scathing criticism – the truth is somewhere in the middle albeit it more towards the critical end of the spectrum
28 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Looking at the comments on this film on this and other websites it is clear that this is a rather polarising affair – it is difficult to find a balanced review as people seem to love it or hate it. I'm not sure why because for me it is an OK piece of cinema vérité that has some strengths but ultimately doesn't work unless your requirements are for it to be "natural". Some have said that the film is unrealistic but I think this is unfair because to me Hannah does ring true – and if you doubt this then I would suggest you go onto Tumblr (the current "trendy" blog platform) and subscribe to any one of the countless blogs maintained by young professionals working their first jobs in the creative sectors. This comes over like a criticism and perhaps it is because for me the film is fairly bang on the money when it comes to Hannah – although I guess she is as representative of her generation as much as any one person can represent a group of millions (ie they can't).

The film follows her through a period of time and many conversations with her partners, colleagues and friends and nails her in how rather self-centred and selfish she is when it comes to her relationships. Some of this is clunkingly obvious to the point of being a bit irritating but mostly it feels natural. It seems this is mostly down to Gerwig, who is utterly convincing in who she is, a feat that is more impressive due to the lack of script (although I suppose she may be this person but I shall assume she is not). The problem is that, given how rather annoying Hannah is, the film seems happy to let the viewer wallow in her life without a lot of interest going on once her character has been established as much as it will be (which is early on). Without much happening we are left with only the characters to hold the viewer in the film – in particular Hannah. The problem is that this is not something that appeals and, even if it does, the lack of any sort of destination (thematically, emotionally, narratively – you name it) means that you get little back from the film.

Ultimately, for all its naturalism and the appeal this offers me, the film goes nowhere and just leaves me with people that I have no reason to have patience with and, although I gave the film the time it wanted, I find myself taking nothing away from it other than a sense of time wasted. As an experiment it is interesting and Gerwig is a big part of the film working at all but it amounts to very little and has the further downside of suggesting that this is somehow the standard for independent little dramas now. Ignore the hyped praise and ignore the scathing criticism – the truth is somewhere in the middle albeit it more towards the critical end of the spectrum.


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