2014, Movies

While We’re Young (2014, Noah Baumbach)

I think this is Baumbach’s film since The Squid and the Whale or perhaps even Kicking and Screaming (my favourite Baumbach movie). It’s certainly his funniest since his debut.

Baumbach has once again used hipsters for his subject, but this time instead of creating a tribute to the French New Wave like with Francis Ha, he has used this to deal with something that hits very close to home for me: what happens when you get old and you don’t end up where you imagined you would be.

Baumbach’s portrait of this mid-life crisis (for lack of a better term) is extremely hilarious – it might be his funniest movie ever – but also deeply affecting. And he works into this portrait a number of interesting elements: a critique of where documentary films are now, a “twist” movie red herring, and a build up to a big Movie-style climax straight out of Hollywood that is nicely subverted.

It’s a pleasure to see a film so entertaining that is also so astute about its subject. This is true of most of Baumbach’s films, but this one in particular seems to be more entertaining than previous efforts, while still having something important to say about its subject. (In this case, creative people aging.)

Awesome.

9/10

  • Directed by Noah Baumbach
  • Produced by Scott Rudin, Noah Baumbach
  • Written by Noah Baumbach
  • Starring
    • Ben Stiller as Josh Schrebnick
    • Naomi Watts as Cornelia Schrebnick
    • Adam Driver as Jamie Massey
    • Amanda Seyfried as Darby Massey
    • Charles Grodin as Leslie Breitbart
    • Adam Horovitz as Fletcher
    • Maria Dizzia as Marina
    • Dree Hemingway as Tipper
    • Brady Corbet as Kent Arlington
    • Matthew Maher as Tim
    • Ryan Serhant as Hedge Fund Dave
    • Peter Yarrow as Ira Mandelstam
  • Music by James Murphy
  • Cinematography by Sam Levy
  • Edited by Jennifer Lame
  • Production company: Scott Rudin Productions
  • Distributed by A24
  • Release date: September 6, 2014
  • Running time: 97 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Budget: $10 million
  • Box office: $17.3 million

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