Aura (Lena Dunham) has just graduated from a university in the Midwest, receiving a degree in film theory that even she seems to realize is essentially worthless. With no real prospects she returns home to her mother, Siri (Laurie Simmons), a successful photographer living in New York City.
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Lena Dunham is the voice of this generation. Or some generation. Anyway, she is a voice. She is like a young female Woody Allen, and she is funny, authentic and charismatic as an actress, and one hell of a good writer. This film was amazing.
Lena Dunham's modern take on The Graduate is both realistic and hauntingly familiar. With her mother and sister acting in the film, the plot becomes even more alive. Dunham thoughtfully explores what life after college means for many twenty-somethings: unrequited romance, unfullfilling sexual relationships, monotonous entry-level jobs, lack of financial independence, and an uncertainty about the future.
Was feeling disconnected last night and a mumblecore movie seemed like the fix. I'm not terribly familiar with Lena Dunham's work, but I quite enjoyed "Tiny Furniture." I admire how pitiless Dunham is to her character and, by virtue of the film's autofiction quality, herself. This is a pretty joyless pocket of existence we follow, but it never feels dishonest. Dunham's decision to cast her own family pays off.
2 1/2 out of 5 stars. Tiny Furniture feels like a movie version of Girls, which like most movie adaptations (or installments) of TV shows, it simply isn't designed for the medium or format. I also realize this isn't a movie version of the show (a blueprint, MAYBE) but despite this, Tiny Furniture doesn't quite have that enough of the random, fucked-up fun that Girls does to get me through.
Dunham has gotten backlash for her breakout feature, and I can see why some may find it irritating. But I find that there is an undeniable, painful honesty here that is compelling. It gets lumped in with "mumblecore", but Dunham's film is clearly impeccably scripted and visually planned out, unlike the works of, say, Joe Swanberg, which feel improved. "Tiny Furniture" is a proper film, and Dunham is a proper talent.
A pretty remarkable little indie feature from newcomer Lena Dunham, who is excellent both in front and behind the camera (she's also infuriating for being the same age as me and accomplishing so much more than I am). Great naturalistic writing and performances, and a solid depiction of the frustrations of a generation.
A little overly precious, but refreshingly honest look at modern 20-somethings adrift after college. At times too calculated, but its evocation of a modern woman aimlessly spinning her wheels after graduation is pretty spot on. It does a good job of portraying a generation adrift in an overwhelming and difficult world with a unique voice.