Very much like Girls on HBO, and while it took me a little over a season to warm up to Hannah Horvath, it only took me about an hour to come around to Frances (Greta Gerwig). Difficult for me to connect to this character early on and for similar reasons: she’s pathologically unwilling to take responsibility for herself, and it’s hard to sympathize with that because she doesn’t really have to struggle, and she knows it. As one character says, “The only people who can afford to be artists in New York are rich.” She, like a few of the others in the film, has the comfort of knowing she has a fallback position if playing the starving artist doesn’t pan out.
Dir. Wes Anderson
(2009, PG, 87 min)
★ ★ ★
Fantastic Mr. Fox is like Chicken Run for hipsters. Directed and co-written by Wes Anderson, he of hyper-ironic fare like The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited, it takes the Roald Dahl novel and coats it with a layer of laid-back cool. It’s too glib by half, surrounding emotional or energetic scenes with ones that are so detached they don’t feel like anyone’s playing for keeps. George Clooney voices Mr. Fox with Danny Ocean’s slick nonchalance; you can hear the smirk in his dialogue.
Dir. Noah Baumbach
(2010, R, 107 min)
★ ★ ★ ½
Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) is a miserable fellow. As the film begins, his more successful brother, Phillip (Chris Messina), is preparing his family for a temporary move to Vietnam. His personal assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig, lovely and warm) will remain to care for the house, the dog, and house-sitter Roger — though which needs the most tending would be a matter of some dispute.