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10 Best Drama Movies Like Frances Ha | ScreenRant

Noah Baumbach directed the drama movie Frances Ha in 2012, with Greta Gerwig in the starring role. The movie is about a struggling dancer in her late 20s, who throws herself into her dreams. This was Baumbach’s seventh movie, all of which dealt with young adults struggling through life’s twists and turns.

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Baumbach and Gerwig have both made films of this type, and Baumbach himself has been an influence on filmmakers that followed. There were also filmmakers who came before that clearly influenced Baumbach’s career. While Frances Ha seemed unique, there are also plenty of great options for angst and dialogue-heavy dramas.

10 Slacker (1990)

In 1989, Richard Linklater made his name with the movie Slacker. He not only directed the movie but wrote and starred in it. The movie follows the life of a group of bohemians in Austin, Texas, and switches to view different characters’ lives through the running time. Slacker was a movie that influenced filmmakers like Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and Noah Baumbach, filmmakers who rely almost extensively on dialogue to tell their stories.

9 Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

Years before Noah Baumbach was making movies like Frances Ha, Jim Jarmusch was the king of the quirky indie dialogue-driven movies. Most similar to Frances Ha is Jarmusch’s 1984 movie black and white drama Stranger Than Paradise.

The movie is a minimalist drama with non-actors in musicians John Lurie, Eszter Balint, and Richard Edson. They star as three friends who visit each other in Brooklyn, Cleveland, and Florida. The Library of Congress added Stranger Than Paradise to The National Film Registry in 2002.

8 Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)

If there is one movie that bears the most similarity to Frances Ha, it is the 1962 French movie Cléo from 5 to 7. The drama movie by French New Wave director Agnes Varda tells the story of a young singer, who goes on a brief journey of self-discovery as she awaits her biopsy. The entire movie focuses on Cleo as she reminisces about her life and her fears of mortality. Nominated for the Palme d'Or, Cléo from 5 to 7 was named by the BBC as one of the best movies of all time directed by a woman. The BBC named the movie one of the best movies of all time directed by a woman.

7 Kicking And Screaming (1995)

Seventeen years before he directed Frances Ha, Noah Baumbach directed the drama movie Kicking and Screaming. This was Baumbach’s directorial debut and was also the producing debut for Jason Blum, the future CEO of Blumhouse.

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The movie follows a group of college graduates who don’t seem ready to move on with their lives and aimlessly try to figure out what they want to do next. Kicking and Screaming was a perfect movie to start what would become a critically acclaimed career for Baumbach.

6 Reality Bites (1994)

One year before Noah Baumbach made his debut with Kicking and Screaming, Ben Stiller directed the romantic drama movie Reality Bites. The movie is about four friends who recently graduated from college and live together in Houston, Texas.

Both movies came out a year apart, and while the drama is similar, the directors shot the two movies differently, with Baumbach taking on a more New Wave approach. However, they both have the same emphasis on the heavy dialogue Baumbach specialized in up to and through Frances Ha.

5 Lady Bird (2017)

Greta Gerwig was the star of Frances Ha, and it seemed that she may have been influenced by Noah Baumbach's work. In 2017, Gerwig directed the drama movie Lady Bird, which starred Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf as a mother and daughter who were struggling to co-exist. The movie was a critical success, picking up five Oscar nominations, including "Best Picture" and "Best Director," although the filmmakers went home empty-handed.

4 Before Sunrise (1995)

Before Noah Baumbach got his start as a master of the dialogue-heavy drama movies, Richard Linklater mastered the subgenre. Linklater followed up his slacker comedy-drama Slacker and Dazed and Confused with a dialogue-heavy romantic drama in Before Sunrise.

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Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy star as two strangers who meet on a train from Budapest and spend a day together. The movie received two sequels in Before Sunset and Before Midnight, with critics ranking the first movie at 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

3 Walking And Talking (1996)

In 1996, Nicole Holofcener made her big-screen debut with the movie Walking and Talking. The movie follows two long-term friends, who find themselves drifting apart and considering their life choices after one of them becomes engaged. It had an impressive cast, with Catherine Keener, Anne Heche, Todd Field, and Liev Schreiber all taking the lead roles.

Holofcener composed the entire movie almost entirely on the dialogue between the cast, their discussions carrying the story. She then followed up with the comedy-drama Lovely & Amazing, which earned her several awards.

2 The Big Chill (1983)

In 1983, Lawrence Kasdan directed a more mainstream dialogue-heavy drama in The Big Chill. Kasdan, who also wrote the Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, built an all-star cast for this drama about a group of friends who all come together after the death of a loved one. Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, and Kevin Kline headline the cast, as the baby boomers reconnect after 15 years. The movie received three Oscar nominations, including "Best Picture," "Best Original Screenplay," and "Best Actress" for Close.

1 Ghost World (2001)

Terry Zwigoff directed only two documentary movies over 16 years, including the 1995 movie Crumb. In 2001, Zwigoff helmed his first drama movie with Ghost World. Based on the comic book by Daniel Clowes, the movie follows two young women following their graduation from high school who are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives.

The movie also has the two unable to know if they can ever escape this town and life, finishing up with an ambiguous ending. For this movie, Zwigoff and Clowes earned an Oscar nomination for "Best Adapted Screenplay."

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