And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

Currently browsing the "Noah Baumbach" tag.

Mini review: Marriage Story

Both of us Chicks saw this one at the Middleburg Film Festival earlier this year where it was the opening night film. From director Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding, Frances Ha) it stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a New York couple whose marriage is coming apart. Nicole is a former TV actress married to Charlie who’s a theater director. And they have a cute little boy Henry (Azhy Robertson), whose custody becomes an issue when Mom moves home to the west coast to star in a TV show leaving Dad to commute if he wants to be a part of his son’s life. But once a couple of high powered LA divorce lawyers (Laura Dern and Ray Liotta) enter the story, what started out as an amicable split turns contentious. The film has some great performances, but sadly the story itself feels entirely too familiar.

Arty Chick’s Middleburg Film Festival Download 2019

Another super tiring weekend in the bucolic Virginia hamlet of Middleburg watching more films than I should! I predicted early on that this festival would outgrow itself and I think it has come to that point. Too many people know about it and the growing pains have become chronic overcrowding at venues without room for expansion. I’m already searching for another festival for next year. (All suggestions are appreciated.) I saw fewer films this year, too, just nine — Marriage Story, The Capote Tapes, The Aeronauts, Frankie, Waves, The Report, The Two Popes, Atlantics, and Knives Out. I only gave one of them four stars and several were surprising disappointments. For too many it was great cast and great performances in an otherwise just okay movie. Here’s my list with trailers and my preliminary impressions. Full reviews of select films will come later, so check back.

Mistress America

Writer/director Noah Baumbach and writer/actress Greta Gerwig have great chemistry (apparently both on and off screen.) Mistress America is their second collaboration, the first being the wonderful 2013 comedy Frances Ha. Both are set in New York and both star Ms. Gerwig as a lovable, yet kooky woman trying to find her place in the world. In the very funny Mistress America, she plays Brooke whose father is about to get married to Tracy’s (Lola Kirke) mom. It really is Tracy’s story, but Brooke is the big character that animates her life. Tracy is having a hard freshman year at Barnard, and her mother wants her to meet her soon to be step-sister who is 10 years older and lives in the city, so she calls her and is immediately drawn into Brooke’s very dramatic life.

While We’re Young

While We’re Young is a solid indie that many adults (even of the mainstream variety) should be able to relate to. It’s a comedy/drama about a middle-aged, childless couple named Josh and Cornelia Srebnick (Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts) whose best friends have just had a baby and seem to be drifting away. Then they meet Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried), a pair of twenty-something hipsters who become their new besties and inject new life into the Srebnicks’ otherwise stagnant personal and professional lives.

Frances Ha

Poor Frances. At the ripe old age of 27, nothing in her life is going right. Her boyfriend wants her to move in, but she can’t run out on her roommate, so they split. Then her absolute favorite person in the world, her roomie Sophie, moves out on her despite their promise to stick together until the lease is up. Plus she is still apprenticing in a dance troupe and her future there is in doubt. And she’s not getting any younger, as she is constantly reminded. But she’s no late-20s slacker either. She just can’t seem to get things to work the way she knows they are supposed to. In this indie comedy from director Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Margot at the Wedding), Greta Gerwig animates the hapless but lovable Frances and takes you along on her journey as she figures it all out in her own goofy fashion.