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Frances Ha (2012)

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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 the possibility of realizing them dwindles.

Director:

Noah Baumbach
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Popularity
2,358 ( 1,791)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greta Gerwig ... Frances
Mickey Sumner ... Sophie
Michael Esper ... Dan
Adam Driver ... Lev
Michael Zegen ... Benji
Charlotte d'Amboise Charlotte d'Amboise ... Colleen
Grace Gummer ... Rachel
Daiva Deupree Daiva Deupree ... Waitress
Isabelle McNally ... Random Girl #1
Vanessa Ray ... Random Girl #2
Justine Lupe ... Nessa
Lindsay Burdge ... Dark Haired Girl
Patrick Heusinger ... Patch
Marina Squerciati ... Waitress at Club
Christine Gerwig Christine Gerwig ... Mom
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Storyline

Frances lives in New York, but she doesn't really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she's 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. Written by IFC Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual references and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Brazil

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 2013 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Frances Ha See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$137,398, 19 May 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,063,238, 6 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Greta Gerwig was raised as a Unitarian Universalist and there's a scene in the film with Greta and her real-life parents that features a visit to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento church that she and her family grew up attending. See more »

Quotes

Rachel: Fuck, I sound like a gay grandma.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final end credit is: "For Harris". See more »

Connections

References The Jay Leno Show (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Mrs. Butter's Lament
Written by Harry Nilsson, Bob Segarini
Performed by Harry Nilsson
Courtesy of Sony Records
By arrangement with Unichappell Music, Inc.
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. o/b/o Golden Syrup Music
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User Reviews

 
Though Frances may be undateable, the film is unmissable
23 June 2013 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Being called "undateable" is sort of like a team player being labeled "uncoachable," not a strong recommendation. This label tags maturity-challenged Frances (Greta Gerwig) in Noah Baumbach's warm-hearted comedy Frances Ha, a film that has genuine affection for its characters. Co-written by Baumbach and Gerwig and supported by an eclectic soundtrack that includes music by French film composer Georges Delerue and the songs of David Bowie, Frances Ha (the title is explained in the film's final shot) is a film in which people talk and act like real human beings, not cardboard caricatures manipulated by a self-conscious script that "strives for reality." Though the film is full of light-hearted energy, it does not strain to be quirky or "in your face." It is clever because that's the way it is.

Shot in black and white by cinematographer Sam Levy, 27-year-old Frances lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her girl friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner). She wants to be a dancer, and apprentices for a small dance company, but seems to lack the determination to really develop her talent. Though the exact nature of their relationship is not spelled out (what you see is what you get), they are at the very least good buddies who are tight. Frances says her relationship with Sophie is "like a lesbian couple that doesn't have sex anymore," but Sophie is not quite as attached and tells Frances that she has decided to move in with her upscale boyfriend Patch (Patrick Heusinger).

Refreshingly however, the story is not about relationships being the necessary ingredient of a woman's self-esteem, but simply one component of an internal growth process. Frances goes out with Lev (Adam Driver), another under-achieving New Yorker, but her economic needs trump her physical ones and she moves in with Lev and his roommate Benji (Michael Zegen) on a strictly platonic basis to save on the rent, although Benji develops a real connection with her (which Frances is blind to). She stumbles through relationships, not making a terrific impression. One woman tells her in talking about her friend, "You look a lot older, but you seem far less mature." Frances does not have the kind of job prospects that she alludes to with her friends and her overall veracity is questionable, but she makes up for it with tons of charm. She actually makes some stabs at shaking things up, going home to Sacramento to visit her parents (Gordon and Christine Gerwig, her real parents), impulsively flying to Paris for a weekend to prove to a friend that she can, and, upon returning after a joyless weekend, taking a job as a "drink pourer" at Vassar where she had gone to school. Unfortunately, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Although Frances Ha is about young New Yorkers living on the margins, it is not and does not aspire to be a commentary on the current economic situation or the plight of young people. The film is about talented folks who have not quite gotten it together and whose level of responsibility lags somewhere below the norm. The characters have their flaws and are not always self aware, but Baumbach recognizes that the process of growth does not happen suddenly and refuses to judge his characters, or make snide commentaries about New Yorkers.

Frances Ha does not rely on formula or relationship clichés to make its points, but only on the performances to bring the characters to life. Baumbach and Gerwig take us on a wild ride without any clear signposts, yet the trip is poignant and even beautiful and we can joyously sense the light around the next turn. Unlike the angry, unpleasant Roger in Baumbach's previous film Greenberg, the more you hang around Frances (Greta Gerwig), the more you grow to like her insanely. Though Frances may be undateable, the film is unmissable.


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