Run with the cool crowd
MISTRESS AMERICA (MA15+)
Director: Noah Baumbach (While We’re Young) Starring: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Heather Lind, Michael Chernus, Matthew Shear Verdict: Growing not so old, not so gracefully
YOU can only run with the cool crowd for so long. Because sooner or later, they’re gonna run right over the top of you.
That is the straightforward takeaway from Mistress America, an infectiously mannered hipster farce by Frances Ha collaborators (and real-life partners) Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig.
Brooke (Gerwig) can already hear the footsteps of a hungrier, higherachieving generation coming up behind her.
Though impressively quick when it comes to constructing goodto-great creative concepts, Brooke is depressingly slow to act on them.
So having spent the whole of her 20s procrastinating in the fast lane, Brooke really needs her next bright idea to spark some serious success, or dark times await.
Just to complicate matters further – and this is one of those movies where complications matter – Brooke has been absentmindedly mentoring a protege who is also about to become her stepsister.
Tracy (newcomer Lola Kirke, a real find) has only just started college, and is finding it difficult to unpeel life in the Big Apple.
Brooke’s busy, dizzy lifestyle is just the distraction Tracy needs at first. Then it becomes an addiction when Tracy realises she can spin her observations of this way-too-with-it woman into her first published piece as a writer.
As evidenced by his recent hit While We’re Young, director Baumbach is fast becoming a nextgen Woody Allen. If that notion appeals, then you’d better mark down this preciously clever affair as a must-see.
However, just be warned, Baumbach’s love of a preciously worded wisecrack is real ear-ofthe-beholder stuff in Mistress America.
If you don’t warm to the first few oh-so-urbane gags, a long and lonely 85 minutes awaits.