Mistress America (2015)

Mistress America
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig
Cast: Lola Kirke, Greta Gerwig, Matthew ShearHeather Lind, Michael Chernus, Cindy Cheung
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Tracy (Lola Kirke) ist about to start college in New York. She doesn’t know anybody there though and has trouble connecting, especially when she doesn’t make it into the prestigious writer’s club on campus. Her mother suggests that Tracy should call the daughter of the mother’s fiancé, her soon-to-be-stepsister Brooke (Greta Gerwig). Brooke enthusiastically lets Tracy into her life that is quite wild and unusual. Tracy is enraptured by Brooke, Brooke’s life and her myriad plans that never seem to come to any fruition.

If I hadn’t already been in love with Greta Gerwig before Mistress America, I would be now. The film is very good, but she is awesome personified.

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While We’re Young (2014)

While We’re Young
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Naomi Watts, Ben StillerAdam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Maria Dizzia, Adam Horovitz, Dree Hemingway, Charles Grodin, Peter Bogdanovich
Seen on: 11.8.2015

Plot:
Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) have been together for a while and are quite settled in their lives as their friends left and right start to have children. Josh gives lectures at uni and works on the same documentary he’s been working on for years, Cornelia works as a producer with her father Leslie (Charles Grodin), a famous documentary filmmaker. One day after class Josh is approached by Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), a young hip couple. Josh is flattered by their admiration and they start to hang out together more, making both Josh and Cornelia painfully aware that they are not 20 anymore. But maybe they can change that.

While We’re Young wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I had fun for the most part, but the end did leave a weird taste in my mouth.

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Frances Ha (2012)

Frances Ha
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Michael Esper, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, Charlotte d’Amboise, Grace Gummer

Plot:
Frances (Great Gerwig) spends most of her time with her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) and training to be a dancer. But then Sophie wants to move out of the apartment they share and Frances doesn’t get anywhere with her dancing. But even as her dreams start to crumble around her, Frances refuses to come much closer to reality.

I pretty much hated the last Baumbach film I saw, Greenberg. But since I did like Greta Gerwig in it and this film did look nice, I decided to go for it anyway, despite my trepidations. And I did like Frances Ha, even if I didn’t completely love it.

francesha

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Greenberg (2010)

Greenberg is the newest movie by Noah Baumbach, written by himself and Jennifer Jason Leigh, starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Chris Messina, Merrit Wever and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Plot:
Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) just finished his therapy at a psychiatric facility and returns from New York to Los Angeles. Until things look differently, he stays at his brother’s (Chris Messina) house. His brother, in the meantime, is on holiday. With only the family dog for company, Roger tries to reconnect with his old friend (Rhys Ifans) but in the end only finds some form of human connection in Florence (Greta Gerwig), his brother’s personal assistant/house keeper.

I know I’m probably losing all of my indie cred and any reputation I have built up as a film critic on this here blog but, dammit all: That movie was fucking boring. Yes, the cast was excellent but there’s only so much you can do without an actual plot.

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