Just when we thought we had Noah Baumbach pegged, the "Greenberg" writer / director arrived at last year's Telluride Film Festival with a little movie from left field that might just be the best thing he's ever made. Shot digitally in luminous black-and-white, "Frances Ha" follows the adventures of a woman on the cusp of 30 (Baumbach's muse Greta Gerwig naturally plays the titular lost soul), as she bounces around between friends, lovers and living situations, as the lines start to blur between all three. Low-key but brimming with an assured, lightning in a bottle energy -- as if Baumbach and Gerwig shot the film on such short notice because they were afraid it might get away from them -- "Frances Ha" is a winsome and winning delight, a coming-of-age story for those of us who seemed to skip over that part of our lives.
Also, for you "Holy Motors" fans (aka everyone, right?), keep your ears peeled for a toe-tapping homage to Leos Carax. And by "keep your ears peeled," I mean "watch the trailer below, in which the reference will be abundantly obvious to anyone who's seen 'Mauvais Sang.'"
IFC Films will release "Frances Ha" on May 17, 2013.