MOVIE REVIEWS

Frances Ha

8/10 NR

May 17, 2013

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I sometimes equate this movie to waking up from a satisfactory sleep with the perfect amount of alcohol in the good ol' intestines, slowly coming to the realization that you have shit to do, responsibilities to attend, new lies to create, new truths to discover. We find Frances in a similar state at the beginning of the film, though she has yet realized the consequences of her actions.

When her best friend, Sophie, decides to move out and pursue other goals, Frances initially ruminates in their apartment alone. Having broken-up with a boyfriend over her refusal to live with him, Frances bounces between living arrangements. For most of this film, all of Frances' decisions seem terminal, as she can never settle in one place - whether it be at Benji and Miles' bachelor pad, France, her parents' house in California, or a dorm at her old university; this coupled with her unfulfilling job as an extra dancer in her company. She soon abandons everything in the interim of Sophie's engagement and move to Japan.

For a comedy, the movie has a sadness to it that is inescapable, sadness due to the fact that throughout much of the movie, Frances is alone. The friends she makes come and go, not because she lacks the ability to keep them, but because of the turnstile nature of life. The paths she takes lack a certain introspection and responsibility. Benji's date even points out the superficial economic implications of using a credit card to travel to Paris for the weekend, whereas Frances is more concerned with reading Proust. She ultimately has to face the question of identity in a nomadic lifestyle, and decide between instability and control. It is this viewer's opinion that _Frances Ha_ reaches a conclusion located somewhere in the middle - in that gray area on a drunken night where the room spins around the bed, and the only reprieve is a foot placed on the floor.

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