“When you’re an actor, you can act on your own, but you kind of need to get hired. You need to be chosen. And when you’re chosen to act in something, the thing itself is already validated—it’s already real in some way. But for the most part, people who are creators—writers and directors—are always starting from zero. Nobody is asking them to make what they make. Every time you set out to create something from nothing that nobody has asked for, you feel the void more than you do in any other art form. I do, anyway. I’d never experienced that with a film before Frances Ha, where at first there was nothing, and then there was something because we made it. Frances Ha felt like I gave birth to it. And then I realized that that’s what you have to do on every single project for the rest of your life, if this is what you want to do.”

– Greta Gerwig on writing and acting in Frances Ha   

Still from Frances Ha (2012, dir. Noah Baumbach)

“I Like Things That Look Like Mistakes”: The Perfect Imperfection of Frances Ha

Nodding my head every other sentence. Really great appreciation. I, too, loved this movie.

They are closer than most friends, intimate emotionally with one another more than most people on screen are (unless someone is dying). But the fact that they exist as two separate people whose interests evolve is critical to understanding why Frances and Sophie work as a couple and why Frances Ha works as a film.

“I Like Things That Look Like Mistakes”: The Perfect Imperfection of Frances Ha

Frances Ha

Frances Ha. I loved it. We’re all incomplete; this is about filling in the gaps. The way it treats deep friendship is so rare in movies. There’s a great California interlude with family that underscores the theme. Home can be so comfortable, but we leave it and we have to figure out how to find that support elsewhere. Other things I liked: Gerwig has a delightfully expressive face, and great timing. I thought the script was funny and loose – it didn’t feel have the volleyball bump-set-smash rhythm to the jokes, just kept rolling along through the bad ones and the good ones. And a good bit of the humor is cinematic, based on a cut/juxtaposition, or underscored with music and a lingering camera. The black-and-white photography and marvelous bursts of music throughout bring to mind Woody Allen + French New Wave. It doesn’t feel like an homage, but it’s similarly joyful. Good flick.