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Why You Should See Greta Gerwig as Noah Baumbach's 'Frances Ha'...on Netflix, in 2014

By Ross Smirnoff on Jan 02, 2014 06:33 PM EST

Living in New York City, especially now in 2014, is an enormously expensive enterprise.

Between food, rent and MTA fares--you know, the bare necessities--you're lucky if you get to experience the real luxuries of life in Gotham: fine dining, finer digs and a brand new car all your own.

But what Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha explores, more than all these realities perhaps, is what truly matters in life: real connection with other human beings.

Which is why we fall in love with Greta Gerwig (co-writer with Baumbach), who plays a 27-year-old aspiring dancer from Sacramento named, yes, Frances trying to survive as an artist in New York City.

We encounter her experiences via a variety of relationships, including her best friend, boyfriend(s) and roomate(s), as well as brief encounters with her dance teacher.

All throughout, we are entranced by Gerwig's Frances, who uses the film as a stage for her incredible spontaneity and talent.

She moves us, as we are enriched by her kind of random, yet quick-witted banter. We follow her, too, as she travels--from apartment to apartment, city to city, country to country.

And because this is Baumbach's film, we see Frances' flaws: acne, ennui, etc.

Even on Netflix, viewers will fall with her, inspired by the fact that despite the lack of "reality" in her streamed thinking, she never compromises her artistic soul.

No, Frances doesn't cave. She does not take a job beneath her. Rather, she is constantly striving to maintain her integrity--even after so many failed attempts to make her dream(s) come true.

Namely...becoming a dancer with a New York company.

Instead, Frances' teacher urges her to consider choreography, which she duly praises.

And in the end, be it on the big screen or zoom-pinched to an Apple one, Gerwig's character in Baumbach's movie does achieve success--landing on both feet, ahem, as that choreographer.

Of course, there's still a lot more work for Frances to do in the city and in this world, but at least she gets her break here.

After all, as any New Yorker will surely tell you, faith in one's own self is the most express line to happiness.

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TagsRoss Smirnoff, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha, Netflix

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