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Frances Ha (2012)

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A New York woman (who doesn't really have an apartment) apprentices for a dance company (though she's not really a dancer) and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as the possibility of realizing them dwindles.

Director:

Noah Baumbach
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Popularity
2,940 ( 184)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greta Gerwig ... Frances
Mickey Sumner ... Sophie
Michael Esper ... Dan
Adam Driver ... Lev
Michael Zegen ... Benji
Charlotte d'Amboise Charlotte d'Amboise ... Colleen
Grace Gummer ... Rachel
Daiva Deupree Daiva Deupree ... Waitress
Isabelle McNally ... Random Girl #1
Vanessa Ray ... Random Girl #2
Justine Lupe ... Nessa
Lindsay Burdge ... Dark Haired Girl
Patrick Heusinger ... Patch
Marina Squerciati ... Waitress at Club
Christine Gerwig Christine Gerwig ... Mom
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Storyline

Frances lives in New York, but she doesn't really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she's not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren't really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness. Written by IFC Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual references and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Brazil

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 2013 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Frances Ha See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$137,398, 19 May 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,063,238, 6 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to the movie's improvisational feel, the actors followed a very tightly-written script with little to no deviation. See more »

Quotes

Benji: Are you still undateable?
Frances: Oh yes, very undateable.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final end credit is: "For Harris". See more »

Connections

References Contempt (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Negresco's Waltz
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue
Courtesy of Studio Canal/Sony ATV
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User Reviews

 
The obligation of growing up
9 June 2013 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

Is it fair to call Frances Ha a product of the mumblecore movement in cinema or is it all too, well, professional? Noah Baumbach's examination of culture, early adulthood, and obsessive friendships not only makes for a good, topical debate but a very worthy motion picture, as Frances Ha is one of the strongest films this year. Heavy on dialog, characterization, and the strong, stable topics to examine, this is a thoughtful mediation on what it means to grow up, stay true to your friends, and be self-reliant.

The film stars the zealous Greta Gerwig (whose work in Hannah Takes the Stairs I still regard as terrific) as the title character, a plucky dancer at the age of twenty-seven, living with her best friend Sophie (Mickey Summer) and her best guy-friend Benji (Michael Zegen). Frances and her friend Sophie are like "straight lesbians," so Benji says, as they do everything together, and both of them would seemingly be lost without each other. The thought is put to the test when Sophie decides to move out of the cramped studio apartment in favor of moving in with another friend, leaving Frances sort of lost and unfulfilled with her current position in life.

This is basic framework for a story that begins to follow the path of a series of vignettes, focusing on the ups and downs in life, along with those awkward stretches no one really likes to talk about. Baumbach brilliantly captures this through a black and white lens, and allows his actors the freedom to get immersed in their characters with little restrictions in place.

Frances Ha does a lot in eighty-six minutes, like notably humanizing the "hipster" culture of the last few years, detail loneliness and friendships, impending adulthood, and dependence all the more. The humanization of "hipster" culture comes into play because we notice that these characters are not of the "typical" breed, whatever we define as typical. They are about as free and unrestrained as the wind that catches their hair, especially Frances herself, who is arguably one of the most fun characters I've had the pleasure of watching this year. There's something about the way she engages in quick-witted conversation, runs happily through the streets of Chinatown at random, and is constantly proclaiming she is "undateable.' Gerwig magically transforms a character bound for a caricature state of mind into a strong woman that may not be looked at as a role model for girls but certainly a realistic portrayal of many.

I imagine the loneliness that the loneliness and slight-depression Frances feels when Sophie leaves her is one many post-college girls will feel when their best girlfriend moves on to bigger and better things and she remains somewhat inert and stuck in her current life position. Baumbach details growing up in Frances Ha not as a choice but as an obligation, which it rightfully is in many regards, but the way he doesn't isn't condescending or superficial, but rather hopeful and endearing.

NOTE: My video review of Frances Ha, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc6LbMzbGww

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Summer, and Michael Zegen. Directed by: Noah Baumbach.


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