From the Amazon archives: “Frances Ha” (2012): Charming Faux-Truffaut

Before I begin, I must say that before I saw the film, I was under the impression that this was a French movie, most likely because I thought that it was “France’s”, rather than “Frances”. Even by looking at the pictures from the film, as well as the first few seconds from the film itself, it seemed like a French film. It was only after the characters spoke for the first time that I realised my mistake.

Even with this, the whole film does indeed feel like a French New Wave film, looking like something that Truffaut might have done. Even a few of the male characters look French and at one point in the movie, Frances even rides a bicycle though the scenic street – very French indeed!

OK, enough about that!

I thought the film was simple and charming; it doesn’t take itself too seriously and you get to feel close to many of the characters, especially Frances herself. The dialogue is also very natural and believable, more so than other, similar films. When listening to the characters talk, I suspected that Greta Gerwig might’ve had a hand in writing the film and afterwards, I discovered that she had indeed cowritten the script with Noah Baumbach. The conversations in the film feel natural; you believe every word they say and also helps that there is genuine chemistry between all of the actors.

“Frances Ha” is also a very pleasant film to look at, very reminiscent of Woody Allen or, you guessed it, Francois Truffaut.

I also love how “quick” the editing is; the film doesn’t stay on one scene too long, it makes it point and gets onto the next one. The music is also great too; I had Hot Chocolate in my head for a few days after watching this film!

In conclusion, this is a simple, charming film full of smart, natural dialogue and it should especially appeal to fans of the French new wave, since the film oozes “Frenchness” through every cinematic pore.

5 Stars

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