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Damsels in Distress 2011 ***

The rising star of Greta Gerwig, mumblecore queen rising to the heights of Francis Ha, is the main attraction in Whit Stillman’s deft comedy-musical. Stillman scored a notable trilogy with metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, mixing chatty dialogue, offbeat characters and austere pop culture savviness; a tasteful Tarantino, working outside the mainstream. Gerwig plays Violet, one of three girls who set out to challenge their male-dominated campus, and also invent a new dance craze at the same time. It’s fluff, but with an underlying warmth for its charmingly verbose characters that makes for a strikingly original comedy.


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