Movies by Mills (July 2013)

Page 17


Greta Gerwig’s characterisation of Frances would make Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer seem sane. She is the ultimate neurotic wanting to be a dancer but does not really dance. She has an apartment but it is not really hers. Life seems to disorientate her, she is a prize-winner of nothingness, but in a Woody-whacky-way, she is endearing and funny. Frances shares an apartment with her best friend Sophie but when she leaves for better things, Frances finds herself left with responsibilities that she finds difficult to handle and relationships that seem beyond her capabilities. One scene perfectly captures her awkwardness with life. Asked what does she do? She replies: it’s hard to explain. Because it’s complicated, she is asked. No, because I don’t really do it. One feels that there is a talent bubbling underneath but is switched off before it has time to boil. A magical moment is when Frances leaps, swirls and dances her way across a road.