Frances Ha

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Frances Ha
Frances Ha poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Noah Baumbach
Produced by
  • Noah Baumbach
  • Scott Rudin
  • Lila Yacoub
  • Rodrigo Teixeira
Written by Noah Baumbach
Greta Gerwig
Starring
Cinematography Sam Levy
Editing by Jennifer Lame
Studio RT Features
Pine District Pictures
Scott Rudin Productions
Distributed by IFC Films
Release dates
Running time 86 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $8,346,502[3][4]

Frances Ha is a 2012 American comedy-drama film directed by Noah Baumbach and written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Gerwig also plays the title role. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2012. Frances Ha was given a theatrical wide release on May 17, 2013.

Plot[edit]

Frances Halladay (Greta Gerwig) is a 27-year-old dancer who lives with her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) in Brooklyn, but Sophie decides to move out and move in with her boyfriend, leaving Frances to figure out how to live her life.[5] From there the film follows Frances to Chinatown (where she shares an apartment with Lev and Benji for a brief period), the suburbs of Sacramento (where she is originally from to see her family for Christmas, and reconnect with old high school friends), Paris (for an uneventful two-day getaway that she paid for on a credit card), Poughkeepsie (to work at Vassar (her old college) as a waitress and RA for the summer), and finally back to New York (Washington Heights). Along the way Frances laments her lack of money, her poor prospects as a professional dancer and an increasingly strained relationship with Sophie. The film concludes with Frances reconciling with Sophie and enjoying a modest but undeniably satisfying existence as a fledgling choreographer who does clerical work for the dance company she danced with to pay the bills, exploring a potential relationship with Benji, and living alone in her own apartment, in Washington Heights.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Frances Ha is directed by Noah Baumbach and written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Gerwig, who also stars in the film, announced it in April 2012, though Baumbach's involvement was not revealed until the film's listing in the Telluride Film Festival's lineup. Gerwig starred in Baumbach's 2010 film Greenberg, and they decided to collaborate again.[6] They exchanged ideas and developed characters and eventually co-wrote a script, which was Gerwig's first screenwriting effort. The Los Angeles Times highlighted Gerwig's foray as part of a trend of female actors becoming writers or co-writers; other examples include Zoe Kazan for Ruby Sparks and Rashida Jones for Celeste and Jesse Forever. Gerwig said she did not anticipate starring in Frances Ha, but Baumbach thought she suited the part. He filmed Frances Ha digitally and in black-and-white, the latter to emulate in part collaborations by Woody Allen and his cinematographer Gordon Willis in films like Manhattan (1979).[7] CBS News compared Frances Ha's style to the works of Jim Jarmusch and François Truffaut.[8] Filming locations included New York City, New York, Sacramento, California, Paris, France, and Vassar College, which is Baumbach's alma mater.[7] Gerwig said that Baumbach filmed multiple takes so none of the scenes were truly spontaneous.

Soundtrack[edit]

The filmmakers included a number of pop songs, including "Every 1's a Winner" by Hot Chocolate, "Rocks Off" by The Rolling Stones, "Blue Sway" by Paul McCartney, "Chrome Sitar" by T.Rex and "Modern Love" by David Bowie.[6] This sequence is an homage[citation needed] to Leos Carax' movie Mauvais Sang, where Denis Lavant runs through the streets (as Greta Gerwig does in Frances Ha with the same soundtrack). The soundtrack also references multiple French films: it contains music by Georges Delerue, Jean Constantin and Antoine Duhamel, originally written for films of the French New Wave. The soundtrack includes a song by Felix Laband.

Release[edit]

Frances Ha premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2012.[5] The Los Angeles Times reported its reception, "Audiences seemed pleasantly surprised by the warmth from the often-mordant Baumbach."[7] It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2012.[9] After the screening in Toronto, IFC Films acquired North and Latin American rights to distribute the film in theaters.[10] Frances Ha also screened at the New York Film Festival on September 30, 2012.[6] The film is set to be screened at Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2013.[11]

The film had a limited release in US theaters on May 17, 2013,[1] and was released on Blu-ray and DVD through the Criterion Collection on November 12, 2013.[12]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Frances Ha has been met with critical acclaim. Based on 136 reviews collected by review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 93% "Certified Fresh" approval rating, with an average score of 7.9/10. The site's consensus is: "Audiences will need to tolerate a certain amount of narrative drift, but thanks to sensitive direction from Noah Baumbach and an endearing performance from Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha makes it easy to forgive."[13] Metacritic calculated an average score of 82, indicating "universal acclaim," based on 35 reviews.[14]

Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice praises Gerwig's performance, writing, "It's a relief that Frances Ha isn't as assertively frank, in the 'Look, ma, no shame!' way, as Girls. And this is partly Gerwig's vision, too. No other movie has allowed her to display her colors like this. Frances is a little dizzy and frequently maddening, but Gerwig is precise in delineating the character's loopiness: Her lines always hit just behind the beat, like a jazz drummer who pretends to flub yet knows exactly what's up."[15]

Peter Debruge, reviewing for Variety, described Frances Ha, "This modest monochromatic lark doesn't present a story—or even a traditional sequence of scenes—so much as it offers spirited glimpses into the never-predictable life of Frances, a 27-year-old dancer." He said Frances was "a character whose unexceptional concerns and everyday foibles prove as compelling as any New York-set concept picture, delivering an affectionate, stylishly black-and-white portrait of a still-unfledged Gotham gal".[5] Linda Holmes, writing for National Public Radio, said, "I have limited patience for the attitude that people talking about nothing is cool and subversive, or that obnoxious people are enthralling, or that people from New York are more interesting than other people." Holmes found the film agreeable: "What helped Frances grow on me as both a character and a movie was Gerwig's vexing—and yes, sometimes intentionally irritating—performance as a young woman who's so frenetically trying to fit in that she can't, who's so desperately trying to grab onto something that she slips off every time." She concluded, "The film is funny and likable, despite the trappings of self-conscious New York navel-gazing."[16]

Accolades[edit]

List of Accolades
Award / Film Festival Category Recipient(s) Result
Bodil Awards[17] Best American Film Frances Ha Nominated
British Independent Film Awards[18] Best International Independent Film Frances Ha Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards[19] Best Actress in a Comedy Greta Gerwig Nominated
Casting Society of America[20] Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Low Budget Feature - Drama/Comedy Douglas Aibel (casting director), Henry Russell Bergstein (associate) Nominated
Central Ohio Film Critics Association[21] Best Picture Frances Ha Nominated
Best Actress Greta Gerwig Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards[22] Best Feature Noah Baumbach, Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub and Rodrigo Teixeira Nominated
Best Editing Jennifer Lame Nominated
London Film Critics Circle Film Awards[23] Film of the Year Frances Ha Nominated
Actress of the Year Greta Gerwig Nominated
Technical Achievement of the Year Sam Levy (cinematography) Nominated
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival[24] Audience Award Noah Baumbach 3rd place
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards[25] Best Actress Greta Gerwig 2nd Runner-up
Vancouver Film Critics Circle[26] Best Actress Greta Gerwig Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jagernauth, Keith (November 30, 2012). "Noah Baumbach's 'Frances Ha' Gets Spring 2013 Release Date; 'End Of Watch' Coming Back To Theaters Next Week". The Playlist (indieWire). 
  2. ^ "FRANCES HA (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  3. ^ "Frances Ha". Box Office Mojo. 
  4. ^ "Frances Ha (International)". Box Office Mojo. 
  5. ^ a b c Debruge, Peter (September 1, 2012). "Frances Ha". Variety. 
  6. ^ a b c Rosen, Christopher (October 1, 2012). "'Frances Ha' At New York Film Festival: Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach Bring Their 'Pop Song' To New York". The Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ a b c Olsen, Mark (September 7, 2012). "'Frances Ha' bonds Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ Morgan, David (September 30, 2012). "N.Y. Film Festival: Noah Baumbach's whimsical 'Frances Ha'". CBS News. 
  9. ^ "Frances Ha". tiff.net. Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved December 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ McNary, Dave (September 20, 2012). "IFC Films closes U.S. on 'Frances Ha'". Variety. 
  11. ^ "Edinburgh Film Festival programme unveiled". 29 May 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  12. ^ http://www.criterion.com/films/28560-frances-ha
  13. ^ "Frances Ha". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Frances Ha". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  15. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (May 15, 2013). "Greta Gerwig Stars in Noah Baumbach's Dating Manual, Frances Ha". The Village Voice. 
  16. ^ Holmes, Linda (September 9, 2012). "TIFF '12: Baumbach's 'Frances Ha' Proves We're All A Little Unfinished". National Public Radio. 
  17. ^ "Denmark’s Bodil Prizes: ‘Nympho-maniac’, ‘The Hunt’ Lead Nominations". Deadline.com. Jsnuary 7th, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Nominations 2013: BIFA". British Independent Film Awards. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  19. ^ "19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards Nominations". Broadcast Film Critics Association. December 16, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Artios Awards: Casting Society Reveals 2013 Nominees". Variety. August 19, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Central Ohio Film Critics Award Nominations". Indiewire. January 3, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ "2014 Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘All Is Lost’, ‘Frances Ha’, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ & ‘Nebraska’ Nab Best Feature Noms". Deadline.com. November 26, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  23. ^ "London Critics’ Circle Announces 2014 Film Awards Nominations". London Film Critics Circle. December 17, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Black Nights Film Fest Breaks Audience Record". Estonian Public Broadcasting. December 4, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ "TFCA Announces 2013 Awards". Toronto Film Critics Association. December 16, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ "And the 2014 VFCC Nominees Are...". Vancouver Film Critics Circle. December 22, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]