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Mitchell's Top 20 Films of 2013: #16 "Frances Ha"

"Frances Ha" (2013)
"Frances Ha" (2013)
IFC Films

16. “Frances Ha” - Frances (Greta Gerwig) is a genuine soul.

This 20-something New York City bohemian simply loves what she loves, and her roommate Sophie (Mickey Sumner) and dancing are the objects of her affection.

Frances and Sophie have been best friends since college, and they share all their secrets, commiserate about bad sex with their old boyfriends, play backgammon, and play fight.

Apparently, play fighting is really “fun”, and the occasional fake tussle is part of their routine.

What are best friends for?

When Frances isn’t plotting - with Sophie - to take over the world, she soaks up her love for dance at a modern dance company.

She’s working as an understudy but feels close to landing her big break.

Frances spends almost all her time with Sophie and dance, and life is good.

Unfortunately for Frances, her world suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.

For a majority of the 86-minute film, writer/director Noah Baumbach throws major speed bumps on the freeway of Frances’s ideal life and sends our lead character on a crazy and winding trip down “What is Happening to My Life” Lane.

Gerwig, who also co-wrote the script, is a refreshing and completely hilarious wonder on screen, as Frances tries to get back on track but continually flounders by choosing a free spirited path which she only knows.

Almost always, Frances makes the wrong decision, but at least she creates a memorable road on the way to self-discovery.

This marvel of a comedy, shot entirely in black and white, is a modern-day classic, and Gerwig - without question - gives the the most satisfying lead female comedy performance of the year.

Follow me on Twitter: @MitchFilmCritic

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