I kind of fell for Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha” at last year’s Telluride Film Festival. I’m not a Baumbach acolyte, though I did like “Greenberg,” so that also made it a pleasant surprise, I guess. This kind of thing rarely works for me, though. Or at least, it has to hit a very precise target, and when that happens, it always feels pretty special. That’s what we’re looking for in a darkened theater, right?
So, in my opinion, chalk “Frances Ha” up on arrival as one of the best films of 2013 when it lands in May. It is the result of a top notch writing collaboration between Baumbach and star Greta Gerwig, and speaking of which, Gerwig’s performance will deserve awards attention whether it gets it or not. Captured in textured black and white hues by photographer Sam Levy, the film tells a story of a life in progress, and it keeps away from the edge of cliche when it could easily go sailing off of it.
That’s what makes the new trailer for the film kind of brilliant. It plays with cliche by dropping David Bowie’s “Modern Love” over a tightly constructed montage of scenes that play just slightly different outside of that context, though not drastically so. This is no piece of rom-com fluff but it knows what it owes to John Hughes and Howard Deutch because it grew up on them. It may be “Woody Allen by way of Williamsburg,” as it was once so eloquently put to me, but that assumes too much of a “Girls” quality, which, again, it certainly has that.
“Frances Ha” is its own thing. And that’s as apt a notion speaking to its themes as I think I could muster. Check out the new trailer, courtesy of Apple, below.
“Frances Ha” opens May 17.