Shot in beautiful black-and-white, Frances Ha is a wonderful character study from Noah Baumbach that utilizes Great Gerwig’s talents to the fullest. Her Frances is determined, sure, struggling, but optimistic about this world she inhabits, and her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) is essentially the same person, as Frances describes her to people. Sumner is quite strong in the supporting role here, bringing out the best and worst in Frances and analyzing a 27-year old woman who reminds us of the lead characters in Girls. Where the film thrives, though, is in its portrayal of an independent woman with the markings of comedy and deft drama, sometimes profoundly so. There are hearty laughs throughout, but the film shines in its quiet observations, particularly in the strong cast of supporting players. Gerwig never feels like she forces any of her character’s awkwardness, but simply comes across as a sincere, kind-hearted person who wants to find happiness. This is a great film, one I absolutely loved, and I think it’s one of the best I’ve seen so far this year.
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