While the impressive lineup announced this morning for the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival included handfuls of titles we’d been eagerly anticipating for months — including Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, the 164-minute Cloud Atlas, Ben Affleck‘s Argo, Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines, and Rian Johnson‘s set-to-open-the-fest Looper — one of the most satisfying selections of the bunch essentially emerged out of thin air. It’s called Frances Ha, and it’s the latest piece of work from Noah Baumbach, whose last film, the Ben Stiller-starrer Greenberg, was one of my favorites of 2010.
Thanks to the helpful TIFF website — whose usefulness is amplified in this case, considering that Frances Ha doesn’t even have an IMDb page yet — we’ve received four first-look images, in addition to a brief synopsis of the film. Co-written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, who co-starred alongside Stiller in Greenberg, Frances Ha is about “an aspiring dancer (Gerwig) [who] moves to New York City and becomes caught up in a whirlwind of flighty fair-weather friends, diminishing fortunes and career setbacks.”
Running a mere 86 minutes, and sporting a flexible log-line like that, it’s easy to assume that Frances Ha will be a modest, under-the-radar work — an assumption that makes all the more sense when accounting for the lack of hype of any kind surrounding the film. But Baumbach‘s a sneaky talent, and Gerwig‘s fresh appeal is growing. Thrown in Scott Rudin‘s producer credit — a name often associated with end-of-the-year heavy-hitters — and you start to wonder if there’s a chance for any potential Oscar recognition here. Rudin‘s backed Baumbach‘s two previous features to microscopic awards attention — could the third time be the charm?
But let’s not look to far ahead. For the time being, it’s welcome enough that we have a new Baumbach film to balance the attention that’ll surely surrounded the other, more buzz-demanding titles that Toronto has secured. Check out the rest of the early production stills below.
What are your early expectations for Frances Ha?