Noah Baumbach’s Next Movie Looks Exuberant and Delightful

Slate's Culture Blog
March 5 2013 2:56 PM

Trailer Critic: Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha

francesha
Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha.

I like every movie that Noah Baumbach has ever made. OK, Highball is kind of a disaster, but I even enjoyed that one at least a little—and besides, Baumbach had his name removed from the writing and directing credits for the film, demonstrating, once again, that he knows a good movie when he sees one (and when he doesn’t). Margot at the Wedding is underrated, Mr. Jealousy is decidedly underseen, Kicking and Screaming is a rewatchable delight, and The Squid and the Whale is just as good as everyone said it was.

Needless to say, then, I am more than a little excited for Frances Ha, his first feature since the excellent Greenberg, starring the female lead of that film, Greta Gerwig.

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Gerwig is arguably still waiting for her star turn—she was terrific in Damsels in Distress, but Whit Stillman’s decidedly peculiar and personal film didn’t reach a large audience. Arthur was a bit of a flop, as was To Rome With Love. Frances Ha, filmed in a very subdued black and white, will likely be a fairly small film as well—commercially speaking—but, judging from this trailer, it may be the best showcase yet of her charming, self-deprecating exuberance. (Granted, David Bowie’s “Modern Love” also contributes to the energy of these two minutes.)

Gerwig co-wrote the film with Baumbach, and it centers on a 27-year-old aspiring dancer in New York who, according to Linda Holmes at NPR, is “so frenetically trying to fit in that she can’t… so desperately trying to grab onto something that she slips off every time.” That frenetic quality certainly comes off in the trailer, which has me even more excited for the movie than I was already certain to be.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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