Indie Screen: Frances Ha

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Film stills from Frances Ha Words by Elizabeth Pollard 

About a year late I know, but today I finally got round to watching Frances Ha. A cinematically beautiful film about the significance of a best girlfriend and the complexities of your twenties.

Frances is a 27 year old dancer who lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her best friend Sophie. When Sophie moves out to live with her boyfriend, Frances’ life begins to change. With others around her, growing up and ‘figuring things out’, Frances struggles financially, socially and emotionally with growing apart from the most significant relationship in her life; Sophie.

Written by Noah Baumbach (also the director) and Greta Gerwig (who plays Frances), the hilarity of the film comes from how much the audience can identify with the characters, the relationships and that time of life; filled with energy and anxiety. From films to magazines to celebrities, everyone tells you how fantastic and carefree your twenties are supposed to be. Void of responsibility, full of friends and in most cases completely without dependants. But what no one tells you, is that it is none of these things. The desire to be spontaneous is clouded by the fear of not succeeding in time, friends surround you because you are paralyzed by the fear of missing out and you may not have kids yet but a combination of a low salary and high rent means you don’t have any money anyway. Enter Frances Ha. The uncertainty is palpable and her experience is one that you can completely identify with. Much like her contemporary Lena Dunham, Gerwig writes the voice of the protagonist from a twenty something female but also builds a network of strong male roles that are equally in tune with a modern man.

Without a doubt this film has become a personal classic, only becoming more relevant as I approach and even exceed Frances Ha’s age. A film of reassurance when life gets too serious or just wonderfully entertaining on those rainy Sunday mornings, just like today.

 

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