This film came across my Netflix suggestions. I immediately put it on “My List.” I heard about this film for years as the breakthrough for Greta Gerwig. The title always read as humorous to me. Frances (Greta Gerwig) is a dancer always on the brink of a big break but not quite. She gets by with the help of her friends. As she is inching the end of her twenties, she begins to make decisions to no longer merely survive but to thrive.
Greta Gerwig is delightful and grand, delivering a balanced performance with the fears and realities Frances has. Mickey Sumner plays Sophie, Frances’ best friend, with joy and growth. Baby Adam Driver plays Lev, one of Frances’ friends, who helps her in a pinch. Grace Gummer is Rachel, Frances’ "friend,” who is the successful equivalent of Frances. Michael Zegen gives optimism and wonder to Benji, one of Frances’ friends. Patrick Heusinger, Charlotte D’Amboise and Maya Kazan are an exceptional supporting cast.
Writers Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach gives a realistic portrait of being an artist. Greta holds down Sactown, her hometown, for real. The audience witnesses the endearing friendship between Frances and Sophie. The film begins with them laughing and enjoying their time together. At some point I thought, “how do these women afford to do what they do?”. Their friendship is an evolving plot of the script. The film is an hour and twenty-five minutes. In some parts, it feels long. Do not go into this film taking it too seriously yet leave feeling good. Director Noah Baumbach gives color in this black and white film. Watching Frances run through NYC is freeing.
If you could not already tell, this movie is streaming on Netflix.