Lena Dunham has created a brave, witty, exquisite little film that deserves plaudits for its charm and its unusually high production values. It’s not often a low-budget, indie comedy, written and directed by its young female star, looks and sounds this good.
Lena plays Aura, a recent college graduate who boomerangs to her mother’s Tribeca apartment in order to “figure stuff out” before hitting the real world. Decidedly non-“Gossip Girl” in appearance, she is resented by her sister Nadine (played by real-life sister Grace) and loved in a distracted way by her free-thinking artist mother. Aura drifts through her directionless life and unromantic entanglements with wit, insight and great comic timing.
The supporting cast are a delight, from the self-centred, freeloading Jed (“kinda famous in an internet way”) to the lonely, gorgeous Charlotte with her British twang. Aura’s interactions with her family, in some scenes seemingly improvised, ring true (if a little bratty) and even her bad decisions are a pleasure to watch.
The performances are great, and considering none of the actors has appeared (yet) in anything major, this film ought to prove a springboard for many careers. Stunning production design and high-definition digital photography lift this quirky coming-of-age movie into the realm of the best, well-written, independent cinema. Here’s hoping we see much more of Ms Dunham in years to come.