Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha was one of my favourite films of last year, and also Baumbach at his most accessible. It’s a distinctly youthful tale of living in the moment, missing opportunities and growing apart from people, which resonated with me the most, Gerwig’s contribution to the screenplay no doubt helping. An extract from my review:
“Frances Ha excels in depicting young life in all its humour and grounding in small moments.”
Therein lies the core, the beating heart of Frances, and perhaps what I adore about it so much.
Last year, in particular, has had so many of those ‘small moments’ of conversations that were shared, things that were done, films that were watched etc that aren’t life-changing actions or massive, dramatic moments, but end up being the most treasured and memorable things from the year. I definitely have friends who feel the same way as Frances and Sophie, and if their lives started to change, it would be hard to accept if I felt that I wasn’t as close to them as I once was.
With the Before films, Lost in Translation and a few others I’ve encountered, I’ve considered that for certain films, perception is affected by age and your current point in life. It’s definitely something worth considering. Would Frances Ha have resonated as much with me if it was released when I was 50, and wasn’t experiencing all these small but valuable moments? Maybe not. Would Lost In Translation and finding that feeling of companionship be as important and resonant if I hadn’t seen it this year? Maybe not.
Frances Ha was undoubtedly Baumbach’s biggest hit in a while, getting close to gaining major recognition, and taking a sizeable amount of money at the box office. Hot off this success, Baumbach seems to be mining the same territory but on the flipside with While We’re Young, which quietly premiered at TIFF this year before getting picked up for a release in the US next March. Today comes the trailer for the film, which I’ve embedded below.
The premise of a middle aged couple trying to fit in with twentysomethings is nothing new, exploring what one does once they’ve found monotonous comfort and an ‘adult’ life but still feel like a young person blindly feeling for something, but I’m a fan of Baumbach’s work, so I’ll be lining up to see this without a doubt.