Hannah Takes The Stairs (tbc)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner07/01/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 83 mins

Watchable independent drama from the mumblecore crowd, though it's not quite sharp enough, funny enough or insightful enough to really get off the ground and the characters are occasionally irritating.

What's it all about?
Directed by Joe Swanberg, with a cast comprised of his fellow mumblecore filmmakers, this independent drama stars Greta Gerwig as Hannah, a perky, chronically dissatisfied young twentysomething who breaks up with her boyfriend Mike (Mark Duplass) when he announces that he's tired of being an aspiring musician and is going to do nothing instead. When she lands a job at a television production company, Hannah finds herself drawn to co-worker Paul (Andrew Bujalski), whose blog is about to be published as a book.

However, no sooner has Hannah embarked on a relationship with Paul than she begins to have feelings for her other co-worker, Matt (Kent Osborne), particularly when it turns out that they both play the trumpet. But, having introduced Matt to her single flatmate Rocco (Ry Russo-Young), will Hannah manage to extricate herself from Paul and start dating Matt without it all going horribly wrong?

The Good
The cast are excellent (Duplass is superb as the vaguely boorish Mike) and Gerwig's laissez-faire approach to onscreen nudity (in natural, rather than sexual situations) lends the film a casual intimacy that works well. Similarly, the largely improvised dialogue pays off nicely, because the conversations sound real and spontaneous, even if they're not particularly interesting.

Ironically, for such a dialogue-heavy film, the best moments seem to happen in spite of the dialogue, such as the scene when Hannah realises that she prefers Matt to Paul.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that it's quite hard to warm to the characters; Hannah may be cute and funny but she's also frequently irritating and rather whiny, while Matt is a little too passive to really convince as a romantic lead.

Worth seeing?
Fans of the independent scene won't be disappointed, but your enjoyment of Hannah Takes The Stairs may well hinge on your tolerance for whiny, self-obsessed twentysomethings.

Film Trailer

Hannah Takes The Stairs (tbc)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 07:12

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