Indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach continues his run with contemporary screwball queen Greta Gerwig — following her anchoring supporting turn in Greenberg and then her whirling dervish lead role in Frances Ha — partnering to co-write about the zany misadventures of Tracy (Lola Kirke), a literary-minded college freshman adrift in New York City who latches onto Brooke (Gerwig), her soon-to-be stepsister, a flighty force of nature who seemingly shares her heartbeat with the city.
With Mistress America, Gerwig paints a portrait of thoroughly modern girls in a state of arrested development that is quite different than that of their male counterparts (because these characters are truly and meaningfully searching for a sense of personal identity), and even more finely drawn than Lena Dunham’s Girls. That being said, this moment showcases the impact of huge talent and personality, which cannot be contained in small frames. Mistress America is definitely larger than life. (R) Grade: A-