September 7, 2012 |
Oscar-nominated writer-director Noah Baumbach is known as the creator of literate, personal films about characters in crisis. Actress Greta Gerwig has parlayed her deft touch playing blond oddballs in small indie films into work with an impressive roster of filmmakers including Woody Allen, Ivan Reitman and Whit Stillman. Now the real-life couple, who worked together on "Greenberg," have co-written a melancholy comedy, "Frances Ha" that's becoming one of the most-buzzed-about films on the fall film festival circuit.
July 11, 2010 |
Since his 2005 critical breakthrough "The Squid and the Whale," writer-director Noah Baumbach has specialized in protagonists who lack an internal censor, who veer between paralyzing self-consciousness and total self-absorption, whose general demeanor falls somewhere between unpleasant and insufferable. This seemingly perverse compulsion has made Baumbach something of an anomaly in the landscape of American cinema, where most movies, even if they don't trade on the charm of their heroes, at least count on their protagonists as easy points of identification.
March 21, 2010 |
For someone who is known for creating characters who are self-centered to the point of toxicity, in person Noah Baumbach comes across as pleasant enough. Polite, a little dry, slightly reserved, he seems like a student-friendly professor who writes, as Baumbach does, occasional humor pieces for the New Yorker. Although his 2005 film "The Squid and the Whale" -- which he describes as a "new beginning" for his career -- was tinged with just enough nostalgia to temper his more caustic impulses, his subsequent films "Margot at the Wedding" (2007)
March 19, 2010 |
Noah Baumbach's favorite terrain is deconstructing life's emotional ups and downs with characters so narcissistic and self-delusional they make everyone on screen and off as uncomfortable as possible. With "Greenberg," the writer-director who came to prominence with 2005's "The Squid and the Whale" has reached new highs or new lows, depending on your point of view. Baumbach's latest stars Ben Stiller as 40-year-old Roger Greenberg, whose failed life is envisioned as a self-inflicted wound caused by a bad decision Roger made years ago. There is irony scattered all around him, but any comic relief it affords comes with such an undertow of repressed emotions and displaced anger that it all starts to feel more depressing than dramatic.
November 21, 2007 |
While some writer-directors have a voice, Noah Baumbach's ability to make people live and breathe is so formidable it's more appropriate to say that he hears voices. In "Margot at the Wedding," Baumbach's unnerving film about impossible people, the voices he hears push at the boundaries of what we are willing to accept on screen. Baumbach, as his Oscar-nominated screenplay for "The Squid and the Whale" underlined, is no stranger to difficult individuals.
November 18, 2007 |
Jennifer Jason Leigh and Noah Baumbach would like to clarify the chief misunderstanding about their collaboration on "Margot at the Wedding." Yes, the husband and wife independent film stalwarts took full advantage of their intimate acquaintance while working together for the first time, a creative symbiosis that has yielded the year's most emotionally wrenching family dramedy. But corner them on the subject and both will tell you that the movie was never intended to become a family affair.