At age 45, it feels like writer-director Noah Baumbach is getting soft. Best known for his caustic tragicomedies like Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg, and Margot at the Wedding, he took a turn in tone for his 2012 feature Frances Ha, which starred and was co-written by Greta Gerwig. So, though the warmth of that film might surprise someone familiar with his work, that it’s a collaboration with Gerwig explains at least part of that tone. While We’re Young, though, Baumbach’s newest film which premiered at TIFF this year and made a surprise appearance at the New York Film Festival, manages to carry that affection. It’s hard to top Frances Ha, but his newest is pleasant and impressive all the same.
It’s 100% a love story. The best love stories are the ones where they don’t end up together. We very deliberately tried to make it like a love story. She has girl, she loses girl, she tries to win girl back. Just trying to make it feel like it was existing within the tropes of a romantic love story, then letting the reins go. It’s sad. That’s my favorite feeling in movies, that ache.
Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen—now best known for his feature films, Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave—put himself in the line of fire in Deadpan (1997), a restaging of Buster Keaton’s falling house gag from Steamboat Bill Jr. McQueen does more than remake the stunt; his presence as a black man transforms the work into a commentary on race relations and the precariousness of the black experience.