Mistress America | Film review - Greta Gerwig & Lola Kirke beguile in bittersweet comedy

Mistress America Greta Gerwig Lola Kirke.jpg

Glamorous 30-year-old New Yorker Greta Gerwig takes lonely 18-year-old college student Lola Kirke under her wing, and introduces her to the city’s metropolitan delights in the utterly beguiling comedy Mistress America.

Gerwig’s charismatic Brooke is a whirl of energy and ambition, but we soon grasp that she is also self-deluding and vulnerable, while Kirke’s naïve Tracy, a budding writer and Brooke’s stepsister-to-be, combines gushing hero worship with a streak of ruthlessness.

Co-scripted by Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach, the on-and-off-screen partnership behind 2012’s Frances Ha, Mistress America is packed with comic zingers worthy of Woody Allen – ‘I don’t know whether you’re a Zen master or a sociopath’ is a typically droll example.

But beneath the scatty screwball surface is a tender, bittersweet core.

Certificate 15. Runtime 84 mins. Director Noah Baumbach

Mistress America is showing today on Sky Movies Premiere.


Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.