Mistress America

August 14th, 2015


Mistress America

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A lonely college freshman's life is turned upside down by her impetuous, adventurous soon-to-be stepsister.

Release Year: 2015

Rating: 7.1/10 (172 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Director: Noah Baumbach

Stars: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Seth Barrish

Tracy, a lonely college freshman in New York, is rescued from her solitude by her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke, an adventurous gal about town who entangles her in alluringly mad schemes. Mistress America is a comedy about dream-chasing, score-settling, makeshift families, and cat-stealing.

Writers: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig

Seth Barrish -
Juliet Brett -
Andrea Chen - Bitchy College Girl
Michael Chernus -
Cindy Cheung -
Shana Dowdeswell -
Joel Marsh Garland - Actor
Greta Gerwig - Brooke
Charlie Gillette - Carey
Rebecca Henderson -
Jasmine Cephas Jones -
Lola Kirke - Tracy
Heather Lind -
Morgan Lynch - College Student
Shoba Narayanan - Student

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 14 August 2015

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Lola Kirke's character attends Columbia University. See more »


User Review


Rating: 8/10

Taking place in New York City about now, "Mistress America" focuses on the life of Tracy who is a freshman in college. She aspires to be a writer—easy to tell because she's aloof, detached, alone, and looking for friends. Her mom's getting remarried so Tracy has an older sister-to-be in Brooke, one of those cinematic forces of nature like a young Katherine Hepburn, perhaps. Brooke takes Tracy into her life of late-night concert performances, high-output spinning, fashion, finance, clandestine apartments, absent lovers, and a nascent restaurant business. In many ways, this is a buddy movie as Tracy learns fierce independence from Brooke, who she greatly admires.

Like all buddy movies, Tracy's and Brooke's relationship has ups and downs, complicated by the literary understory. Then the whirlwind pace goes surreal as the New Yorkers head to Greenwich, Connecticut in search of—something. We think it's one thing but it's not. I guess Greenwich, seat of the uber wealthy in the US financial arena, is actually a surreal place.

This is an intensely witty movie with a very chewy script handled ably by the very smart cast. Many call "Mistress America" a comedy but funny is clearly not this movie's main goal. To call it a "screwball comedy" is to not properly describe its intellect. The movie is saying something about envying the lives of others, which most of us do to one extent or another. It's a thoughtful movie, and it will be uncomfortable for some to watch if you, like Tracy, are not centered within your own mind and body. And after all, who is?

We saw this movie thanks to the San Jose Camera Cinema Club.


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