Noah Baumbach’s previous two movies”The Squid and the Whale” and”Greenberg” focused on the male, the teenagers and the Straight Jewish male were two excellent pictures, funny, dramatic and totally identifiable.
In his current film, shot in a marvellous black and white, we enter the Non Jewish female world. Frances Ha or Halladay, is a San-Diego young woman, out in New York foir a number of years. Trained as a dancer, she’s not even getting close to being the professional she wants. Her life long female buddy . Sophie her best friend(Mickey Sumner) is about to get married, so she has to move from her apartment. In a series of situations, she finds herself time and again being bounced back and forth, including a spell in Paris, France where all the romance pass her by.
Greta Gerwig’s Frances, whither it all, like a Keaton figure, she survive the tackles, Gerwig’s portrayal and looks kept reminding me of both Terry Garr, and Giulietta Messina.
One can recollect movies like:the optimistic Cabiria, the hooker whodon’t say die in the namesake “Nights of Cabiria” and ” La Strada”, in which the tragic winsome Gelsomina haunts us.
Using the bewitching Score of George Delrue’s score for:”Roi du Coeur(King of Hearts” this evergreen fantastic satire of military idiocy and insanity in war, we’re in a world inhabited by phonies, snobs, shallow people, wannabees and penny celebs, with occasional soulmates like Frances, that manage somehow to put us in a rather strange uplifting feelings. And the ending justify our root for Frances, she pulled through and life is OK, maybe she won’t be the diva dancer, but she will be ok.
The movie was shown this year at the Jerusalem Film Festival, so far it didn’t bring any Israeli distributor to buy its rights- It’s a shame, since I think that this movie will be a modest hit. But than again, I can be wrong. Anyway, if you didn’t see it, rush to your neighborhood theater or cinemateque and watch it, it’s a rewarding gem, and another proof that the Induie American movie can produce sound movies. In the stalemate in which the Indie American scene is, and in the catastrophic state in which Hollywood is, Noah Baumbach is a voice to be reckon with.