‘Mistress America’ movie review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
If you like Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, and French new wave, you will enjoy Mistress America. The dialogue in the film is similar to the dialogue in the HBO series Girls, and the film’s ending is similar to the end of Annie Hall. Baumbach and Gerwig’s screenplay has a lot of great scenes in it that get the audience laughing.
Director Baumbach introduced the world to Gerwig in his films Frances Ha and Greenberg, which were great, but were only shown in a limited number of theatres. Now more people can see Gerwig in Mistress America, and in colour too, unlike in the black-and-white film Frances Ha. At 85 minutes, the film has a fast pace, and Baumbach could have easily fit more scenes into the film.
Similar to Frances Ha, the film has a French new wave look. Some of the film’s costume design mimics outfits seen in French new wave films. The film’s score, made by indie band Dean & Britta, features the band’s French new wave-style sound.
In the film, Columbia University student Tracy Fishko (Lola Kirke) spends time with her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke Pinahas (comedian Greta Gerwig), and helps her open a restaurant in New York City. At the same time, she writes a short story to try to be in a literary club. In the beginning of the film, we learn that Brooke is one of those people who is successful without going to college, working as an instructor in a fitness centre and as an investor.
The two lead stars are great in the film. Gerwig is part of a list of comedians that a lot of people are talking about in the comedy world today: Zooey Deschanel, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Schumer. Greta is like Dunham, except less extreme. She is a very talented comedian and she can dance, which she did in Frances Ha.
One of Brooke’s best scenes is when she reunites with a high school classmate in a bar, and the conversation leads to an argument, while one of Tracy’s best scenes is when she goes down the stairs and falls, but then gets up and acts like it didn’t happen. There are also beautiful shots of New York City including Times Square, which Brooke describes as the Great White Way. There is also a shot of an NYC bridge when Tracy spends time with another student in the university and says, “We look like we’re in a song.”