August 21, 2015

Mistress America (2015)

Mistress America (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by: Noah Baumbach
Country: USA

Movie Review: Acclaimed film director Noah Baumbach reunites with Greta Gerwig, once again co-writer and actress after the candid “Frances Ha” in 2012, to deliver one more of those special contemporary American comedies that has been making him a persistent mention in the genre. “Mistress America” embarks in the same spirit of “Frances Ha”, presenting a few true moments of genius when portraying the lively adventures of two women who just met in Manhattan: the lonely college freshman, Tracy (Lola Kirke), and her hyperactive hoped-for stepsister, Brooke (Gerwig). The temperate ‘Baby Tracy’ tries to get acquainted with the city, falls asleep in the classroom, and nourishes feelings for a colleague who let her down when he appears with a comically jealous new girlfriend. Tracy, much less impulsive, becomes totally dazzled, inspired, and influenced by Brooke, who in turn, is a creative ‘New Yorker’, a resident of Times Square, who doesn’t produce as much as she plans. The latter is the one injecting a kinetic force throughout the film that makes it talky, eventful, and accelerated. This different individualities work great in terms of narrative balance, making us look to these two new friends in a distinct manner. Their admiration and availability for each other are not only sweet but also salutary for both of them – just like connecting with real family. The film is packed with hilarious situations, colorfully shaped with both frontal and sarcastic tones, and enveloped with the energy of the city. However, and regardless the huge possibilities, I cannot hide a bit of frustration for not being able to consider it a masterwork. The simple reason is that the climax didn’t work so well for me. The scene when Brooke, at the house of her self-seeker friend Mimi Claire, finds out that her entertaining peculiarities are being used in Tracy’s fictional short story, turning the tables on everyone, was too staged (resembling "Carnage"), failing to convince in a crucial moment of a film that had already conquered me. If Lola Kirke was a revelation, Greta Gerwig was flawless, giving the best performance of her career.

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