Frances Ha ★★★★½

Near the very top of my favorites from 2013. Just a joy to effortlessly lose yourself in. I had some built-in expectations: I'm a fan of director Noah Baumbach, ever since I saw The Squid and the Whale I've followed his career, and similarly, Greta Gerwig who's an integral player in the "mumblecore" movement which I'm also quite fond of, made this a sort of nerdy all-star team in my eyes. Shot in beautiful, crisp black and white, calling to mind in multiple ways the French New Wave, we follow directionless Frances as she navigates life in New York City attempting to figure it all out, chase a dream, keep her relationship with best friend Sophie afloat, not to mention find a place to crash for awhile. Full of winning dialogue, spirited naturalistic performances, and a central character in Frances who's equivocating loneliness and charm make her an indubitable enduring cinematic treat.

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