Brief: Frances Ha
Gerwig is stellar as the film's anchor. She's wryly charming, perfectly ineffectual, and smart enough to know she's flailing without being quite self-aware enough to stop the spiral. It's an excellent performance, and a self-conscious showcase for Gerwig as an actress (she co-wrote the film with Baumbach, and the two are romantically involved). The film is painfully realistic about life and love, but it draws most of its emotions from the relationship between Frances and her best friend (Mickey Sumner), who begin the film as roommates and closest confidants, and begin to drift apart as diverging desires and opportunities come their way. Things change, because they must, but the two share a bond that the film perfectly encapsulates in its final moments, playing off an earlier monologue for a touching, true moment between old friend who may grow apart but will never leave each other behind.
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