Frances Ha ★★★★

As a slightly lost person their late 20s who dreams of being so much more, I have to say I found it really easy to connect with this story about a slightly lost person in their late 20s dreaming of being so much more. Frances lives with her best friend Sophie in New York, they spend their days goofing around, going to parties, and daydreaming about their awesome futures. That is, until the day Sophie moves out, leaving Frances adrift in the world without an anchor.

Starring as the title character, Great Gerwig is a revelation, to be honest, I'd never heard of her before, let alone seen her in anything, a mistake I will now seek to rectify. As Frances she is simply adorable, and I don't mean that in any sort of patronizing way, she exudes an easy charm and charisma and I'm so glad the camera never lets her out of its sight, because she is a joy to spend time with. Which is essentially what this film is, spending time with Frances, it is a coming of age story in its own right, but the overarching plot plays second fiddle to the character herself.

We follow Frances from her happy, carefree life with Sophie, to her lost wanderings around New York, jumping from roommate to roommate, couch to couch, in a desperate attempt to continuing being someone she's really not. Frances is such a genuine and fully realized character, a socially awkward socialite, who lives the wealthy party life in New York with no money, and loves to dance but isn't a dancer. She is such a rich tapestry of contradictions and I could have spent twice as long watching her misadventures through life.

Directed by Noah Baumbach, another new name to me who I wish to learn more of, Frances Ha looks beautiful in black and white, conjuring images of Woody Allen's Manhattan as the film sweeps through the crowded streets of the Big Apple. Frances' relationship to the city is a lot like her relationship with Sophie, she loves both of them, and really wants to be a part of them, but never really feels like she belongs and is constantly forced away, be it to other friends or even other cities.

Frances Ha isn't just light-hearted after all, it can be emotionally wrenching at times, even more so if you find yourself relating to Frances like I did. It's a beautiful, charming, funny, sad, sweet, amazing movie constructed with serious heart and talent and I desperately want to learn more about all of the people involved. It's hard to find more to say because with this one it really feels like it's more about the journey then the directions. The trip starts out rocky, but the destination is worth it. One of the year's best, don't miss it.