Noah Baumbach

"Over the past two decades, he’s emerged as a leading voice in American independent cinema… From his Oscar-nominated effort The Squid and the Whale to the critical darling Frances Ha, Baumbach’s consistent engagement with transitional moments — namely, our complicated relationships to growing up and growing old — has led to characters simultaneously relatable and uniquely absurd." - David Canfield (IndieWire, 2015)

Noah Baumbach

Director / Screenwriter / Producer
(1969- ) Born September 3, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Comedy Drama, Romantic Comedy, Comedy of Manners, Slice of Life, Ensemble Film, Family Drama, Urban Comedy
Key Collaborators: Scott Rudin (Producer), Greta Gerwig (Leading Actress/Screenwriter), Lila Yacoub (Producer), Sam Levy (Cinematographer), Ben Stiller (Leading Actor), Eric Stoltz (Leading Actor), Adam Driver (Leading Actor), Rodrigo Teixeira (Producer), Joel Castleberg (Producer), Steven Bernstein (Cinematographer), Harris Savides (Cinematographer), Jennifer Lame (Editor)

"It seems clear that Baumbach’s films are rather more linear and humanistic than those he writes with Wes Anderson, and I’m inclined to think this is Anderson’s problem or blind spot. Baumbach is deeply concerned with family, even if his families are crowded out with vain, insecure, and vaguely creative types. The Squid and the Whale got a screenplay nomination and it had deeply felt performances from Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, and Anna Paquin. Equally, Margot at the Wedding was a fine comedy about warring sisters (played by Leigh and Nicole Kidman). I realize that Wes Anderson has the bigger reputation still, but I know whose future films I look forward to seeing the most." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2010)
"The son of novelist Jonathan Baumbach and film critic Georgia Brown, Noah Baumbach graduated from Vassar College and began writing for New Yorker magazine in 1991… After co-scripting and acting in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Baumbach realized a long-term dream with the autobiographical The Squid and the Whale (2005), a sleeper hit that proved his ability to intersperse wry wit with emotionally lacerating home truths remained undimmed." - Michael Brooke (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"His movies, by and large, have been highly literate, Woody Allen-like examinations of characters in crisis, whether he's grappling with post-college boredom in his 1995 debut feature, Kicking and Screaming, or tackling his parents' divorce in the Oscar-nominated The Squid and the Whale (2005). Some find his observations about America's middle-class intelligentsia sharp and cerebral, others pretentious and needlessly misanthropic." - Patrick Smith (The Telegraph, 2015)
"Noah Baumbach’s films are the bitter yin to Wes Anderson's fanciful yang. The two have collaborated as writers on The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and Fantastic Mr. Fox, and both dabble in arrested development, disconnection, and familial dysfunction. But where Anderson’s films have ballooned further into the fantastical, Baumbach has turned insular, making smaller, personal films about the neuroses of a severely disenchanted Gen Xer (Greenberg), a pair of narcissistic sisters (Margot At The Wedding), and his own semi-autobiographical The Squid And The Whale. Much like Todd Solondz’s early work, the films are often so acerbic that laughter and cringes go hand in hand." - Drew Fortune (A.V. Club, 2013)
"Noah Baumbach movies are not fun to watch. Populated by grouches, headcases and sociopaths, his films are uncomfortable, squirmy creations – captivating, but hardly the stuff of weekday matinees… Plenty of filmmakers rely on unnerving anti-heroes, but what sets Baumbach apart from his peers – including occasional collaborator Wes Anderson, another sucker for schmucks – is that he has no desire to offer his characters redemption. Each is presented simply as they are: a toxic element that’s best left untouched." - Barry Hertz (The Globe and Mail, 2015)
"Twin themes — the struggle to grow up and its converse, the reluctance to do so — lie at the heart of Noah Baumbach’s work. It’s a leitmotif that first manifested itself two decades ago, with the then-26-year-old filmmaker’s debut, Kicking and Screaming (1995), a smarty-pants look at a group of post-college pals who can’t seem to get out of first gear." - Michael O'Sullivan (The Washington Post, 2015)
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
The Squid and the Whale (2005)
Recommended
Margot at the Wedding (2007) , Frances Ha (2012) , De Palma (2015) [co-directed by Jake Paltrow]
Worth a Look
Kicking and Screaming (1995), Mr. Jealousy (1997), Greenberg (2010)
Not Recommended
While We're Young (2014), Mistress America (2015)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Frances Ha
    comments powered by Disqus