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Frances Ha 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars (55) IMDb 7.4/10

A story that follows 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 their possible reality dwindles.

Starring:
Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner
Runtime:
1 hour, 26 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Noah Baumbach
Starring Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner
Supporting actors Adam Driver
Studio Metrodome
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The delightfully unaffected Greta Gerwig stole the show in writer-director Noah Baumbach's acerbic Greenberg, and now she co-writes and takes centre stage in its very funny follow-up.

Gerwig plays the title character, a drifting 27-year-old dancing understudy, more goofy than quirky, despairing at the life decisions of her friends, whilst making some shockers of her own. This is really a love story between Frances and her BFF Sophie (Mickey Summer): friendship, fights, fun, and reconciliation, all coasting along sweetly on Baumbach's improvisational yet elegant style, this time in delicious monochrome. New York is a black and white city.

The script is predictably well-observed, as are the naturalistic performances. At times the film feels slight; at other times aggravatingly self-aware. But overall it's so effortlessly amusing and relatable that it's hard not to root for our blundering heroine, however hipster her world appears.

This'll make a fraction of what Grown-Ups 2 rakes in, but this will be the movie to stand the test of time. Is Baumbach the new Woody Allen? No, he's just Baumbach - and that's good enough.
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By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film won't appeal to everyone, but if you are its target audience (you enjoy quirky, charming, Woody Allen-esque (think "Manhattan") black and white edit of the lovely cinematography) you will thoroughly enjoy this! I certainly did, even though I found Frances Ha often irritating and tiresome, I felt tender towards this "looking older than her 27 years" child who literally dances her way through the streets of New York, and you know she is going to be alright in the end.

Frances Ha - both the film and the heroine - is elegant yet awkward, graceful yet so obviously out of place, bright and funny and kind-hearted.

For a film which does not have Hollywood usual romance in it, it is surprisingly romantic. Recommended for a relaxing night in.
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Format: DVD
There's something special about black and white contemporary films that make them feel somehow more unusual, urgent and focused than their colour counterparts. Would `Manhattan' or `Clerks' be as well remembered in Technicolor? `Frances Ha' makes a wonderful use of the medium, stripping out superfluous detail and concentrating on its loveable central character Frances (Greta Gerwig), a 27-year-old New Yorker who is floundering her way into adulthood, moving from apartment to apartment and struggling to pay the bills with her infrequent work as a dancer. When her long time best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) moves out to live with her boyfriend, Frances is cast adrift and attempts to find a little direction in her shambolic life.

This is a downright joyous experience, so refreshing and funny it's hard to see where it could be improved. For a start it's uplifting to see a portrayal of genuine female characters that aren't just two-dimensional foils for male leads and who actually look and behave like real people. When Frances and Sophie are slobbing around in the apartment in sweat pants and no make-up, that's what they look like - not a dolled up Hollywood version of it. The most welcome change though is that it isn't about romance or Frances `finding a man' to give her life some meaning: a tired, predictable theme that makes for dull, crowd-pleasing cinema - and bears next to no relation to life. 'Frances Ha' is about Frances, not about her love life or big life-changing moments. Realism is high on the agenda throughout and to its credit it doesn't resort to grit, nudity or sex to convey that - proving that strong characterisation is always what matters most.
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Format: DVD
I wouldn't call this funny and am mystified as to why it is billed as a 'laugh out loud', I found it was pointless and boring and a waste of time, I kept looking at the clock wondering when it would be over.
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Format: Blu-ray
More a character study than plot driven film, it tells of the lost, screwed up 27 year old Francis, played with lost, screwed up loveable-ness by co-writer Greta Gerwig. She has what seems an amazingly close relationship with her roommate and best friend Sophie (a terrific Mickey Summer), but it all comes crashing down when Sophie decides to move out (and maybe grow up) for a better apartment (not as crazy as that sounds in NYC), leaving Frances suddenly uprooted and alone.

We follow Frances as she pin-balls through places to live and people to connect with (or not), seeming too childlike for her own good, and unable to take control of her life. But she never sinks so low that she loses the spark that makes us want good things for her, in spite of her continually getting in her own way.

While the film has some very touching moments, and generally excellent acting and writing, something in it made me feel held a bit atarms length. For all the joy and sorrow in Frances' life, I felt more like a clinical observer and less like a participant than I wanted to. And while some of Baumbach's nods to French new wave film-making work wonderfully (the high-spirited musical romp Frances takes down New York streets is wildly infectious), some of them, like the constant use of music from those seminal 1960s films as score was, for me,
distracting and too self-conscious. Frances is a good enough character, and Baumbach a talented enough story teller that it the film didn't need such heavy handed style laid over it.

Still, a unique, if flawed film about a unique if flawed character. It's good to see Baumbach stretch, even if he - like Francis - hasn't quite figured out where he's going yet.
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