MISTRESS AMERICA ****
When Tracy (Lola Kirke), a freshman college student, decides to meet Brooke, a New-Yorker socialite, somewhere among the bright crowds in Times Square, she’s just paving the way for director Noah Baumbach to introduce the most enthusiastic, energetic young woman you’ll ever get to know in the big screen this year. Prepare yourself to be enthralled by Brooke, perfectly played by Greta Gerwig, a woman who finds her way out of any matter, subject or situation, using the power of her words, her charisma and her knowledge. She appears on the screen as an irresistible hurricane that grabs you around her, as she demonstrates everything she’s capable of, the colors and shapes of her private world, her perspectives and aspirations. And, wow, she’s pretty much able to do anything, cooking, designing, singing, acting, writing, but mostly communicating. She’s able to convince anyone of her talented skills and she has no time to waste, because she knows time is running. “I am contemporary” she says, affirming she’s integrated to the modern trends evolving throughout society. In the beginning of his career, director Baumbach explored his personal memories, and now with this new brilliant comedy, he seems to be reassuring the aesthetic he chose for his next level as an auteur: portraits of the ego, the need to prove an artistic field and the importance of sharing ideas in a social environment.
His last three films, “Frances Ha”, “While We’re Young” and now this eccentric study on an undefeatable female persona, reveal similar aspects and creative parallels, as they all deal with the eagerness of young people seeking accomplishment. Baumbach shares the screenplay’s credit with actress Gerwig, his real-life partner, confirming their love and chemistry, which translates to the warmth and cheerful aspects of the film. In order to comprehend Brooke, we must considerate all modern things, the overwhelming routine of busy urban lives, the insecurities that come along while reaching for success, the anxiety, the challenges and the financial obstacles, giving youth a capitalist form of escapism. While Baumbach explores details about modernity with sharp sarcasm and terrific sense of humor, based on the feelings and friendship of these two women, Gerwig turns all attentions on her, taking advantage of the lights to shine and prove she’s an accomplished comedian, a naturally funny and irresistible blondie whom everyone is willing to love, and the truly sweetheart of American Independent Cinema. Hilarious and delicate, “Mistress America” is the most original comedy of the year, and also a highly pleasurable analysis on youth perspectives. Run to see it!