27 5 / 2013
Francis Ha- WONDERFUL. This is the first Noah Baumbach movie I’ve seen that didn’t annoy me severely in one way or another. It’s getting a lot of Woody Allen comparisons, which is fair in a way, but it actually sits in opposition to those movies, where these interesting, complex woman characters exist primarily in relationship to male leads. But this movie also doesn’t just reverse the dynamic- the focus is more on the totality of this woman’s experience and life, rather then so heavily focused on romantic relationships.
Because it’s a thing about a woman in her twenties in New York, everyone is all Girls,Girls, Girls about it, but it lacked the level of morbid self-regard and hopelessness that I find so off-putting about that show. And I also think this movie isn’t served well by projecting any sweeping generational statements on to it- it is very specifically about one character. Obviously the Way We Live (in New York) Today is a element to some degree, but honestly I think that is in the details, not the bigger picture.
Also, I just find Greta Gerwig charming and lovely, and if you don’t, you probably won’t like the movie, so keep that in mind.
Also, I saw it at the Nighthawk Cinema in Williamsburg where they served me beers and a croque monsieur while I watched the movie, so you can’t beat that.