Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 105 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Aug 3, 2013
    If films were gestures, this one would be a perfectly timed shrug, with the smile to match.
  2. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    May 15, 2013
    Above all, Frances Ha is a wry and moving portrait of friendship, highlighting the way that two people who know everything about each other can nevertheless grow apart as their needs change.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    May 16, 2013
    Frances Ha also marks the rare instance in which an actress has the perfect role at the perfect time. Ms. Gerwig's work here is fragile, delicate, subject to bruising; something that could wither under too much attention. Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe Frances Ha is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema.
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    May 15, 2013
    Gerwig, who previously starred in Baumbach's "Greenberg," is charmingly awkward. And Sumner (Sting's daughter) is an ace with deadpan one-liners.
  5. Reviewed by: Catherine Shoard
    Feb 19, 2013
    Gerwig's performance is full of depth and nuance; self-conscious without being mawkish, clever behind the kook.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 23, 2013
    Playful, effervescent comedy.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 16, 2013
    Aiming for lightness but landing with a thud, Frances Ha is a well-meaning blunder. Director Noah Baumbach’s ode to Brooklyn twentysomething life is a flibbertigibbet fable that, like a self-absorbed flirt you meet at a party, grates on the nerves despite being easy on the eyes.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 33
  2. Negative: 6 out of 33
  1. Dec 20, 2013
    It was my personal favourite of the year. I just can't show how much I
    loved this movie but will try my best in this review to explain. It
    just like the movie 'The Pursuit of Happiness' where it describes a
    person's struggle over professional as well the relationship with a
    best friend. I don't know why this movie was in black and white but
    very seductive, like women from Charles Chaplin movies. The expressions
    are 'the killer' if you are a man who fall easily for struggling women.
    'Ruby Sparks' is my one of the year's favourite which was written by
    the lead female of the movie and the same goes to 'Celeste and Jesse
    Forever'. I know it is out of topic but I was saying the lead actress
    from this movie who played Frances wrote this. All these were women
    oriented subjects which rendered the movies from a distinct angle.

    Frances is a cute and sarcastic woman in her late 20s lives with a best
    friend Sophie in New York city. She is not talented but as a
    professional dancer she earns enough to lead a happy life. Once she and
    her boyfriend breakup, Sophie too throws an another bomb as she decides
    to move out to live with her boyfriend. One after another her battle to
    survive in the city for rich remains hopeless. But pursue for her dream
    never ends as she wanted to be a fine choreographer. For all these she
    must hold back her downs of her life and aim only up to self discover
    the meaning of the life. Did she successful or not is what the movie
    steadily chronicles her efforts.

    The character Frances will be remembered for a long time, especially by
    me. I just did not only had a fondness on that character but it
    completely transformed me as one. In fact I felt the movie deeply into
    me that I regretted for unable to give my support to Frances. I came to
    know I am in love with Frances in the scene where she runs on the
    streets of Chinatown. I think it is the best scene of the movie, very
    adorable. You must watch the movie till the last frame before the end
    credits roll up to know the meaning of this strange title. It was a
    silly reason to have names like this for a movie but completely cool
    and refreshing. It is not a thought provoking or an art movie but
    believe me it is definitely a must see movie of the year.
  2. Jul 13, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Not only love, but sex, or rather, as Helen puts it, the "whole package", is what the art gallery curator wants from her coupling with Jessica, who insists on downplaying sex as being just one component" in a "loving and tender" relationship. "What we have is a friendship," she protests, "best friends", even, which for her incrementally straight partner, a journalist, is enough. How did Francois Truffaut tackle the same terrain of sexual politics, as portrayed in Kissing Jessica Stein? The narrator, in Jules and Jim, recalls how "people called them Don Quixote and Sancho Panza," and that "rumors circulated behind their backs about their unusual friendship." Although Jules puts the kibosh on Jim's pursuance of Catherine, whom we presume to be his lover par excellence, we later learn, after both men return from war, that their marriage is marked by celibacy. Sabine looks nothing like her father, Jim notes. Catherine's satiation, Jules admits, comes from other lovers. When he hands over Catherine without any hesitation or qualms, it's because the cuckolded husband apprizes his best friend's platonic love as being on par with his wife's feminine powers. Bi-curious Jessica, ultimately, doesn't covet women, and yet, bawls her eyes out over Helen's departure as if she did. Whereas Jessica, and Jessica alone would subscribe to the notion that "Jules' and Jim's friendship had no equivalent in love," Frances and Sophie take delight "in the smallest things" and accept "their differences with tenderness," a shared sensibility that transcends love of all persuasions. Manhattan settings both, essentially, Frances Ha picks up where Kissing Jessica Stein leaves off, but here, there is no analogue for Helen, since both Frances and Sophie are randy heterosexuals. "The coffee people are right. We are like a lesbian couple that doesn't have sex anymore," Frances says, sharing both cigarette, and inside joke, in regard to the careening apogee of their avowed sexual orientation. Modern love, indeed. Only David Bowie can explain them. When Frances' laptop light goes out, like a lover, Sophie stops the aspiring dancer from adjourning to her own room, and like a lover who nags about a partner's annoying little habits, she softly chastises Frances over her bad decorum, regarding socks in bed. Socks are the only piece of clothing she removes, which may surprise the viewer, since all of New York can see the uninhibited pair carrying on like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Alas, so who is Jules? And who is Jim? The film, it would seem, casts the titular character as Jules. Akin to the scene where Jim gives Catherine to his closest confidant, Frances, in a bequeathing of sorts, suggests that Sophie hook up with Lev, a roommate(one of her "two husbands", a Jules and Jim reference), which would reunite the Vassar graduates, turning the Manhattan apartment into something resembling her counterpart's crowded Austrian chalet. But Sophie, like Jim, already has a partner, and this is where Frances Ha diverges from the Jules and Jim template, since Frances' bespectacled friend remains loyal to Patch, whereas the German can't choose between Catherine and his fiancee. Frances, ever the martyr, rebuffs Lev's advances, because, perhaps, thinking ahead, she sees him as the key to luring Sophie back into her life, even though the Sacramento native thinks he's "magic". Back home for Christmas with family and friends, this transplanted New Yorker, now signified by tract housing instead of skyscrapers, and churchgoers instead of artists, seems less like a persona than a person, and more like a woman than a man. In NYC, she adopts the masculine role by paying for Lev's dinner, and also, Benji draws attention to her "weird man walk", suggesting that Frances is in drag, albeit less visibly than Catherine, who with chapeau and painted mustache, passes herself of as a man, one sunny day in France among the boys. Arguably, the scene where Frances teeters along the river Seine, the same river where Catherine jumps into, is not the first direct steal from Jules and Jim. While Frances' mother pounds on the bathroom door, the daughter lies down in the tub, more or less, underwater, which abstractedly recalls Catherine's drowning, when she drives, with Jim riding shotgun, off the dock. Like the similarly-themed Superbad, porn-lovin' Seth declares, "I don't know what I'm going to be into ten years from now," the same ambiguity imbues itself in this familial exchange: "Frances, how much longer?" asks mom. "I'll be out in a second," responds her adult child, or, maybe give it ten years. From an objective distance, Jules and Jim lock eyes, and for emphasis, the mis-en-scene freezes. What do the eyes say? In Frances Ha, the filmmaker instead employs close-ups and a shot/countershot during the climactic staring, following Frances' first show as a choreographer. We can see. What are we seeing? Expand
  3. May 26, 2013
    In a month of sequels (Star Trek 2, Hangover 3, Iron Man 3 you get the picture), it was nice to see something original on the screen without a number in its title.
    While it does not open or end strong, this movie's middle is filled with many great moments. It's beautifully photographed, often funny, and a good combo of Noah B. and Greta G.
  4. Jan 10, 2014
    Frances Ha is a hoot. It is funny and weird and short(which is a bonus). Lots of strange moments that are enjoyable to watch. It could have delved somewhat deeper, but for what it was it was good. Collapse
  5. Jan 15, 2014
    Not much to the movie but Greta Gerwig is irresistably adorable as a klutz, an apprentice dancer trying to find her way in life. She carries the whole movie on her shoulders and does a good job of keeping you entertained can't help but fall in love with her. Expand
  6. May 21, 2013
    This is my second consecutive Noah B. movie starring Greta Gerwig which just fell flat for me. Sure, it's somewhat real, it's clever, and urbane, but it's also very catty, nasty, and trendy. I chuckled twice in the movie, but didn't fully laugh once. I wanted to like it and laugh more, but the movie didn't pull it out of me. Expand
  7. Aug 26, 2014
    Frances is an "apprentice" dancer - which is hard to believe since she is very ungainly. Apart from "dancing" she never worked a real job in her life. Frances shares an apartment with BFF Sophie, in a sort of a "celibate" lesbian relationship (at least, from Frances' side).

    Both girls have boyfriends, but Frances has no problem with dispassionately dumping hers, when he proposes she moves in with him. Unfortunately for Frances, Sophie actually moves in with her man, Patch. Frances, feeling hurt and betrayed (more strong lesbian vibes) cannot pay rent and moves in with another couple of slackers. Then she gets "temporarily" sacked from the dance company she works for and "sort of" runs out of money.

    This does not stop her from flying to Paris for a weekend and from refusing a job as a "mere" accountant, which would not fulfil her artistic delusions. She meets with Sophie and Patch and comes to terms with them getting married. In the end, Frances accepts the "normal" job and moves into her own apartment, while maintaining her status as "undateable".

    Shot in black & white, by director Baunbach, the movie tries and fails miserably to look like a mix of French nouvelle vague (specifically Jules & Jim) and early Woody Allen (specifically Manhattan).

    Gerwig plays Frances as a lethargic young woman, lacking elegance and discipline, which presumably are needed for such a competitive and physical profession. Sophie is played by one of Sting's children and one of Streep's daughters plays another dancer, completing the cast of VIPs. Neither shines, but I guess being mediocre actresses will not hurt their careers.

    Baumbach and Gerwig were (still are? Really don't care) a couple during the filming. Actress/director relationships usually produce mediocre movies, and this is just another one to add to the list.

See all 33 User Reviews


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