Frances (Greta Gerwig) lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but shes not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren’t really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness. FRANCES HA is a modern comic fable that explores New York, friendship, class, ambition, failure, and redemption. (Source: (c) IFC Films via rottentomatoes.com)
This quirky new Woody Allen-esque comedy from director Noam Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) is all about getting a really good case of the Carpe Diems, and finally riding their seize-the-moment momentum in the direction you want your life to go.
Officially it’s all about “redemption” and ” ambition” but when you’re Francis Ha, an eternal teenager forever trapped on the cusp of realising her dreams – professional, personal and relational – it’s probably just as much about fighting that big inner demon called inertia.
At one point she remarks:
“Sometimes it’s good to do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it.”
It’s about the dawning realisation that endlessly talking about them isn’t enough.
That you eventually have to live them out or they just end up mocking and frustrating you, and exposing you to ridicule, gentle or otherwise, from pretty much everyone in your life.
What makes this big existential dilemma so winningly palatable is the fact that Francis Ha is such a free spirited, supremely happy person.
She may not have everything together, and if the trailer is any guide that causes her friends more than a little concern at times, but she is unfailingly optimistic, believing she will make it eventually.
Which means I kind of think she will and I can’t wait to see where this journey of offbeat personal discovery takes her.
Hopefully to Australia eventually.
The film premiered here at the Sydney Film Festival on 14 June 2013 but no word on a wider release date yet. Fingers crossed it returns.
I think Francis Ha and I are going to be the best of cinematic friends.