IMDb > Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007)
Hannah Takes the Stairs
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Hannah Takes the Stairs -- Open-ended Trailer from IFC


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Release Date:
22 August 2007 (USA) See more »
Hannah is a recent college graduate interning at a Chicago production company. She is crushing on two writers at work... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Takes the hard way, not the easy way out See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order)

Greta Gerwig ... Hannah
Kent Osborne ... Matt

Andrew Bujalski ... Paul

Ry Russo-Young ... Rocco

Mark Duplass ... Mike
Todd Rohal ... Brian Duges

Tipper Newton ... Minnie

Kris Swanberg ... Gaby (as Kris Williams)
Kevin Bewersdorf ... Guy Who Lays Down
Ivan Albertson ... Stephen
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Nathan Adloff ... Friend at Party (uncredited)

Directed by
Joe Swanberg 
Writing credits
Joe Swanberg  and
Greta Gerwig  and
Kent Osborne  and
Andrew Bujalski  additional material and
Ry Russo-Young  additional material and
Mark Duplass  additional material and
Todd Rohal  additional material and
Kevin Bewersdorf  additional material and
Tipper Newton  additional material and
Kris Swanberg  additional material (as Kris Williams)

Produced by
Anish Savjani .... producer
Rajen Savjani .... executive producer
Joe Swanberg .... producer
Original Music by
Kevin Bewersdorf 
Cinematography by
Joe Swanberg 
Film Editing by
Joe Swanberg 
Production Management
Meg DiGiovanni .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Kevin Bewersdorf .... sound recordist
Chris James .... sound mixer
Editorial Department
Yohance Brown .... colorist
John Eremic .... digital intermediate supervisor
Other crew
Frank Ross .... supplier: additional equipment
Vincent Savino .... press kit
Dan Brown .... special thanks
Jay Duplass .... special thanks
Aaron Katz .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Shot without a script.See more »
Movie Connections:
1812 for 2006See more »


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Takes the hard way, not the easy way out, 6 November 2012
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

The mumblecore movement in cinema has had notable ups, a few downs, but has so far been pretty consistent in my book. One of the films elevating it to a level of supreme naturalistic cinema is Joe Swanberg's Hannah Takes the Stairs, a raw and potent look at the title character and how she floats through life from points A to B, living in post-college hell.

Hannah is played by Greta Gerwig; a woman of considerable screen presence who is only elevated by a charming array of supporting characters. During the first act of the film, she is dating Mike (fellow mumblecore filmmaker Mark Duplass), a listless louse whose impulsive decisions make him the worst kind of boyfriend. When he quits his job because at the moment he isn't satisfied, and after much contemplation, Hannah dumps him and becomes interested in her two coworkers at an internship in Chicago.

The men are straight-shooter Matt (Kent Osborne) and offbeat Paul (Andrew Bujalski, another mumblecore filmmaker), who lounge around in their office talking up a real storm of nonsense and watching their lives uncomfortably transcend into adulthood. Hannah also has a close friendship with Rocco (Ry Russo-Young), a woman who is known for helping her through tough times and even content to sit with her in the shower when necessary.

Swanberg's trademarks that appear to be continuous throughout his films are intimacy, sex, human communications, and technology, all of which seem to be shown here in some form. There's a high level of intimacy, mostly because the actors seem fearless in scenes where they casually change clothes and show full frontal nudity to the camera, and the fact that there are many shower sequences in the film where two characters will discuss things with each other bathing right beside them. This is a daring, provocative tactic, used not as a test on the audience's part, but as a way of showing humanity in its rawest possible form. One of mumblecore's main requirements is naturalism and here it is employed fearlessly through performances, events, dialog, and personal complications among the characters.

As I watched the picture, I couldn't help but feel that Swanberg and his band of six writers, most of whom are the cast as well, have an incredible eye for post-college boredom and the uncertainty of it all. This is a picture where events and plot lines act as a gimmick, but are more of a true life-affirming revelation that many, many people experience after college, where you are beginning to discover what you are going to be doing for possibly the rest of your life. If you are facing this sort of life-uncertainty, it's the kind of film that reassures you in the sense that others may have that same problem.

NOTE: Hannah Takes the Stairs is most likely meant as a metaphor, and I believe it symbolizes that she favors to float through life as an unambitious bubble rather than make the snap decision to ultimately pick a career and go from there. Or, "taking the stairs," if you will.

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Kent Osborne, Andrew Bujalski, Mark Duplass, and Ry Russo-Young. Directed by: Joe Swanberg.

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