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Mistress America

7/10
Comedy
 

Tracy, a lonely college freshman in New York, is rescued from her solitude by her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke, an adventurous gal about town who entangles her in alluringly mad schemes. Mistress America is a comedy about dream-chasing, score-settling, makeshift families, and cat-stealing.

 
Actors: Andrea Chen , Nat Baldwin , Shana Dowdeswell , Cindy Cheung , Michael Chernus , Juliet Brett , Seth Barrish , Heather Lind , Dean Wareham , Charlie Gillette , Lola Kirke , Greta Gerwig
Directors: Noah Baumbach
Country: USA , BRAZIL
Release: 2015-08-14
More Info:
  • Steven Rea

    Although Mistress America is very much a New York movie, full of references to couture, pop culture, boutique hotels (to Antigone and Faulkner, too), its comic centerpiece is a brazen assault on a country compound.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Even at its most daft and infectiously ditzy, Mistress America is a sharp, aware and surpassingly kind portrait of the agony and ecstasy of becoming yourself.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    Mistress America steamrolls through its mesmerizingly dense running time with such joyous violence that its themes only bubble up to the surface in retrospect, the heart of the movie identified like the dental records of a body that’s been burned beyond all recognition.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Mistress America is certainly funnier and sunnier than While We're Young, mostly thanks to Gerwig, America's dizzy, dazzling new girl on the side.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    Mistress America is a different kind of channeling, straight through the screwball comedies of the 1980s, "After Hours" and "Something Wild," back to "Bringing Up Baby," where Katharine Hepburn sang "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" to a leopard while Cary Grant looked for the last bone (the intercostal clavicle) for his Brontosaurus skeleton.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Gregory Ellwood

    Baumbach has cast a wonderfully talented group of up-and-coming actors around Gerwig and Kirke, but it's the screenplay and the leads' incredible chemistry that makes it all so entertaining. There are so many one-liners that you miss because the previous line of dialogue is just as smart and laugh-inducing.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    What makes Mistress America so lovely — and so of a piece with “Frances Ha,” my favorite film of 2013 — is its balance of compassion and scrutiny: Baumbach and Gerwig don’t let these characters get away with their shortcomings, but neither does the film condemn these people or present them as irredeemable.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    Far from romanticizing creativity and the artistic process, Mr. Baumbach’s films portray the world of painters, filmmakers and literati as an overcrowded, amoral jungle of viperish entitled narcissists stealing from one another for fame and profit.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Ms. Gerwig’s performance is a comic diamond, and not in the rough. Her timing is flawless, her delivery is droll. The character she has created — from a remarkably smart and supple script, plus her own unerring instincts — may have spiritual connections with Cate Blanchett’s delusional Jasmine or Diane Keaton’s blissed-out Annie Hall (Brooke solemnly and absurdly consults a spirit medium).

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    If nothing else, Mistress America confirms Gerwig as one of the great, fearless screen comediennes of her generation — a tall, loose-limbed whirligig who careers through scenes with the beatific ditziness of a Carole Lombard or Judy Holliday.

    Variety Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    Gerwig, not surprisingly, is a marvel: mercurial, thin-skinned, haughty, desperate, funny, warm, a magnetic presence who mesmerizes the audience in the same way she attracts Tracy.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    For all the energy of Gerwig and Kirke's shared chemistry and the lively dialogue that compliments it, the story of Mistress America never keeps pace, ultimately sagging into formula to the detriment of the potential displayed by its compelling protagonists.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Baumbach’s sharp examinations of the limitations of the callow arrogance of youth and the fatuous nature of egocentricity are pointed and riotously enjoyable.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Barbara VanDenburgh

    It would be unbearable if it weren’t so completely self-aware.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    While Woody Allen’s recent films have grown ever more hermetic in their perplexity, Baumbach is becoming as prolific, and as quick on the comic draw, as the Allen of yore. Will historians of humor look back on this movie, perhaps, and mark it as the point at which the torch was passed?

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Tim Grierson

    This latest collaboration with star and co-writer Greta Gerwig radiates indomitable wit. And Gerwig is a hoot as a woman whose unflappable, unearned confidence lands somewhere between inspiring and horrifying.

    Screen International Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Full of smarts, sly insight and New York personality. As a feather in its jaunty hat, the movie also reinvigorates the art of screwball comedy.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Jamie Neish

    Mistress America is, despite it's wobbles and preference for humour over depth, a delightful diversion from Baumbach's typically weighty output and a star-show for the pair of performers at its centre.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    Noah Baumbach’s great run continues. Sharp, fast and witty, it’s old school screwball comedy with a cool modern twist. And Greta Gerwig is a bona fide genius.

    Empire Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    Mistress America eventually travels down roads of broken trust and acceptance of reality, but please don’t let those heavy themes suggest this movie is anything other than pure delight. The primacy of the joke rules the day.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Mistress America is maybe Baumbach’s most probing consideration of the writer’s process and development, a continuing point of interest in his filmography, from "Kicking and Screaming" to "The Squid and the Whale" and "Margot at the Wedding."

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    Mistress America doesn’t quite achieve the magic of “Frances Ha.” But it’s a fresh take on the comic possibilities of friendship among the young.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    What it feels like, mostly, is a Whit Stillman movie made by someone other than Whit Stillman.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Mainly it's about fast and brittle talk, a lot of it peachy. The dialogue has one ear on the screwball '30s, the other on the way people actually speak when their minds are racing faster than their lives can carry them.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    A very funny and observant movie, albeit squirm-inducing, with endlessly quotable dialogue.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Gerwig is the mistress of all things funny and fierce, and her byplay with Kirke (Gone Girl) is killer. You won't know what hit you.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    This new-new Baumbach isn’t necessarily better than the old-new Baumbach; "Young" felt meatier, with a stronger sense of who its neurotic New Yorkers were. But that film didn’t have Gerwig, bringing warmth, wit, and loopy star power to a character — a human bulldozer of incorrigible extroversion — as fictional as the Big Apple you see only on the big screen.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    Mistress America never falters in its case study of a complicated female friendship.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Mistress America is Baumbach’s version of a Wes Anderson comedy. Strip away the gaudy colors, snippets of animation and earnest loopiness and you get lots of witty banter, breathlessly delivered by an engaging cast of believable and unbelievably glib characters.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Christopher Gray

    Mistress America is both the most concentrated and antic film in Noah Baumbach's unofficial New York trilogy.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Seth Stevenson

    I’ll watch anything this auteur puts out, and I’m not sorry I watched this film — even Baumbach’s misfires have oodles more verve than the personality-free product Hollywood often puts out. But I can’t help but mourn what might have been: a second Baumbach campus classic just as good as his first.

    Slate Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    The film has nothing if not great vitality and an active creative spirit, but it has all been channeled here in a way that comes off as erratic and sometimes ill-judged.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    As the pushback to Gerwig’s force field, Kirke may at times be too mousy for her own (or the film’s) good, but her stillnesses are often a welcome respite in this whirligig.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Gerwig is a magnetic actress, but it feels as if she’s overplaying it here. Even in Brooke’s best moments, she’s not all that charming or interesting.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Granted, it's not a movie that will stick with many viewers for any extended time after the closing credits roll. But, sort of like Pop Rocks and Coke, it's enjoyable while it does its fizzy, burbly thing.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Rebecca Keegan

    The problem is that although the characters in Mistress America deliver witty, fast-paced dialogue, they rarely actually seem to be talking to each other, instead facing the audience.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    What makes Mistress America peculiarly frustrating, though, is what great potential it whips up – for a good half-hour it’s a fast and fluid pleasure, waiting to curdle.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    Like Brooke's dream business, a café/convenience store/hair salon, Mistress America is a mishmash of ideas — fortunately, Kirke gives a fantastic performance that quietly grounds the film.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Mistress America is hit-and-miss. It’s not as burdened by blame as other Baumbach films — Gerwig leavens him. But it’s labored.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Leah Greenblatt

    Noah Baumbach’s latest wisp of privileged New York whimsy vaporizes on arrival.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    I think Baumbach and Gerwig mean Brooke to be a life-affirming free spirit who can’t find a place in our mercenary world. Instead, she comes off as selfish, rude, deluded, irresponsible and mean-spirited.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    From narrative to character development to staging, every frame of Mistress America drips with artifice. It's a playground for unpleasant, self-absorbed characters - an excursion into the lifestyles of people most of us would prefer to bypass. If there's an antonym for self-awareness, it applies to nearly everyone populating this misfire.

    ReelViews Full Review
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