Briefly: Greta Gerwig

I cannot recommend either Daryl Wein’s Lola Versus or Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress without asterisks or a big basket of laundry—both have their own stylistic charms and intractable notions that they can get away with the idea of a movie as an incomplete thought. But! I can heartily recommend watching them to see Greta Gerwig, heretofore a leading performer of mumblecore films who has found a niche in playing slightly more audible, manically charactered wackos. Her voice is smokey, her demeanor almost preternaturally aloof. She walks herself just a few steps back in these movies from being mechanical—the exactness in which she speaks so that you can hear every letter is entrancing. She’s like a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who took all her fairy dust and put it away.

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