I can find myself wondering why I didn't like this one. It is true that stories about characters who appear not to have creative talents even as they so desperately want to create art make me cringe a bit, since these stories are written/directed by successful artists. It's easy to say "give it up and go home" to someone when you're living your dream. Maybe that is the whole problem for me here.
Watching FRANCES HA is like watching Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA. It's a kind of movie that you just can't merely watch. You must feel it, getting inside of it, and experience it. Like Marcello, we will see Frances' life through many circumstances. Basically, it's a rise and fall story. FRANCES HA has an uncertain storytelling like Frances herself. Her career as a dancer has an uncertain prospect in the future. Amazing!
Noah Baumbach likes to quote Leos Carax and would love to be Woody Allen. He films his wife, writes ok dialogues with an arty black and white photography. Still we miss the essential : the need to tell a story, the necessity. The only good surprise is at times the nervous editing which gives the feeling of a short story/diary being written. I could watch Great Gerwig for hours, but not here.
For quite some time I thought this movie was not gonna do anything for me. Surely, its photography impressed me from the get-go but I thought it was just gonna be one of those movies about someone who's not quite ready to enter adulthood. But in-between Frances' collection of missed chances, there's an amazing love story. During the closing scene I was hoping for one thing, but something way better actually occurred.
It should be a typical story about the fall and rise of a fucked up young woman, I should roll my eyes on the characters (Lev, Benji, Frances, Sophie, Rachel, keep going...), but it feels warm and personal. Benji's reference about textiles which inspired Matisse's works, and the short appearance of Adam Driver, though I dislike his hat.