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Frances Ha (movie)

Brainy, funny but aloof, 'Mistress America' is not all it seems to be

Brainy, funny but aloof, 'Mistress America' is not all it seems to be

There's a funny, cringey scene in "Mistress America," the brainy new comedy from director Noah Baumbach and his co-writer, Greta Gerwig, in which an old acquaintance accosts Brooke, Gerwig's daffy, optimistic character, in a bar and calls her out for being a high school bully. The scene embodies both the best and worst thing about "Mistress America," which is that Brooke is not who she's pretending to be. At the center of the film is the interesting idea that we're all putting on performances for each other; unfortunately, the manner in which "Mistress America" explores that theme also makes it a movie where moments of authenticity are...

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