The Globe And Mail's Barry Hertz posted a profile piece yesterday on Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Here are the last few paragraphs:
The director was also careful to separate the work environment from the home front, though he admits part of the appeal in working with Gerwig is that oft-permeable barrier. “Making a movie is all-encompassing. When I’m writing and casting and prepping and shooting, it’s a huge part of my life, so naturally I’m thinking and talking about it a lot, everywhere. But when we’re doing it together, it can be almost easier,” he says. “We both have the same thing in mind. Even when we have dinner, when we go off-topic, if something comes up that strikes us, we’ll be, ‘That’s good, write that down.’”
While the easy relationship was a boon for the film, working on a Baumbach film is never easy, with or without Gerwig. “There were very challenging days on set – Noah is a demanding filmmaker,” says [Lola] Kirke, a relative newcomer to the film world. “On IMDb, it says one scene was shot in 65 takes. No, all scenes were shot that way. I don’t think I ever did less than 30, even of something like my hand putting pasta down on a table. … Noah and Greta are very particular about saying the lines as they are on the page – you have to be word-perfect.”
If some intimidation and repetitiveness was the cost of the film, then it was well worth it. Mistress America is built on tight, twisty language and the almost inpercetible tics that make up a personality – not something easily captured on the fly. It’s also the rare film focusing on two strongly defined female characters, neither of whom is fighting over something so trivial as a man or money.
"Noah and Greta were intent on telling another narrative, something that’s been reserved for more, like, art-house films,” Kirke says. “This movie lends itself to a wider audience because it is a comedy, and that’s the thing that Greta brings to Noah’s already stellar work: pathos and heart.”
For his part, Baumbach isn’t quite ready to completely abandon his independent work. “We’re both going to do things separately, but it’s something we’d definitely like to do,” the director says of future Gerwig collaborations. Until then, he is putting the finishing touches on a project a world apart from Mistress America’s sunny humour: a documentary about thriller master Brian De Palma.
Now if someone could only get the three of them in a room together, we’d have something truly special.