Mistress America – Sibling Rivalry at its Most Unusual

Intellect, wit, dark humor and character growth through dialogue: these are the qualities I expect when I view a Noah Baumbach film. Delightfully,  Mistress America  delivers on all fronts. The pacing and filming of the film reminded me of a play – leaving the viewer to feel like they are viewing intimate moments between the characters. The story is truly about the characters and the dialogue exchanged between them. The New York setting is the same as any films that highlight the city, and the familiar background truly lets the characters shine. The premise is based on two adult women who are soon to be sisters: Tracy, a college student (played by Lola Kirke from Mozart in the Jungle) who is trying to fit in at her Ivy League University  and Brooke (played by Greta Gerwig) –  a spirited and flighty woman a decade older. The chemistry between them works well- Tracy’s wide eyed admiration of Brooke, and Brooke’s excitement of being an leading older sister are palpable. The comic timing is also sublime, elevating  potentially heavy moments. Better yet, this film passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. It is a film about relationships between women – most importantly – ones that do not involve a love interest. I heartily recommend this refreshing tale of soon to be siblings.

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