Frances Ha Review: Look out, Woody Allen | SWITCH.




By Jess Fenton
16th June 2013

Almost everyone grows up with those impossible dreams, like wanting to become an astronaut. Luckily we tend to grow out of those dreams early on, realising that becoming an astronaut is not only difficult but rare - so we learn. We adapt. And we tweak that dream until we come to the conclusion that perhaps we can't become that astronaut, but if we work really hard we could work for NASA. 'France Ha' is the tale of a young woman who still believes being an astronaut is within reach.

Frances is a dancer who doesn't dance. She's a struggling apprentice at a modern dance company, whose quirky nature and addiction to her friendship with her best-friend Sophie either turns people on or off our delightful heroine. When "got-it-together" Sophie decides to move into her dream apartment, she leaves Frances lonely and desperate without her other half. Forced to move into a flat with two new male friends, things steadily go from bad to worse professionally, personally and economically. Frances goes the long way round to find herself, her maturity and a sense of independence. Effortlessly endearing, Frances is a beautiful soul and great ambassador for hope - if only she could get her shit together.


Shot in black and white, this stunningly off-beat film leaves audiences squarely at the mercy of its director Noah Baumbach ('The Squid and the Whale') and star Greta Gerwig ('Greenberg'), both of whom also co-wrote the incredibly witty screenplay. Baumbach's New York eye combined with Gerwig's California sensibility and neuroses have proved here to be a winning combination and a match made in heaven.

With a fresh, 21st century Woody Allen feel, we're drawn into one woman's first world problems, where life is hard but "life" is even harder. Frances is a charming yet flawed individual who is someone to admire, as she's never willing to sacrifice herself right now to become who she will be soon. She takes her time learning lessons and she never apologies for that.

We're drawn into one woman's first world problem.

Recent times has seen a rise in this raw, New York coming-of-age allegorical storytelling, largely thanks to the presence of new sharp minds like Lena Dunham, and now Greta Gerwig. While Gerwig may not be so new to the scene, this is one film that will definitely put her on the map and in our minds to look out for in times to come.

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