From the Vaults: Cover Girl Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig starred in three films at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival

From the Vaults: Cover Girl Greta Gerwig

There was little question in 2008 of what image belonged on the Chronicle cover of the March 7 issue which previewed that year's South by Southwest Film Festival: Greta Gerwig. Gerwig, the star of the widely praised Frances Ha (opening in Austin today), was the obvious choice. She starred in no fewer than three festival films.

Well before her breakout performances in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, which she co-wrote with the director, and 2010's Greenberg, also directed by Baumbach and starring Ben Stiller, it was evident to indie-film watchers that Greta Gerwig was an It Girl for the new millennium and had the talent to go the distance.

In 2008, Gerwig starred in three SXSW films: Baghead by Jay and Mark Duplass, whose work was also growing in prominence at the time; Nights and Weekends, which Gerwig co-wrote and co-directed by Joe Swanberg, the reigning king of mumblecore; and Yeast, by first-time director Mary Bronstein. Gerwig's debut appearances on film – in Swanberg's LOL and Hannah Takes the Stairs – had already screened at previous SXSW Film Festivals. Spencer Parsons interviewed Gerwig for the Chronicle's 2008 cover story, "All Around Gal."

Gangly charm and cautious spontaneity combine in Gerwig to create the naturalistic performances that are the crux of her popular appeal. A couple more films in the indie realm – You Won't Miss Me and House of the Devil – played at local festivals in subsequent years before her step up to the big time playing opposite Ben Stiller in Greenberg. A couple forays into bigger, studio productions came her way with Ivan Reitman's No Strings Attached and Russell Brand's remake of Arthur led Gerwig back to working with more independently minded writer/director types.

She was cast as the lead in Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, a member of Woody Allen's ensemble in To Rome With Love, and as the lead in Daryl Wein's Lola Versus. Gerwig made return appearances in SXSW films om 2010 with A NY Thing in 2011 with The Dish & the Spoon.

This is an incomplete filmography for Greta Gerwig, although you can click on any of the title links above to read The Austin Chronicle reviews. The Frances Ha trailer is below. Once a mumblecore darling, Gerwig's name is now shouted from cinema marquees.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

<i>Pet Sematary</i> Remake to Close SXSW Film
Pet Sematary Remake to Close SXSW Film
Midnighters, Festival Favorites, plus shorts all announced

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 6, 2019

SXSW Film Goes to <i>A Quiet Place</i>
SXSW Film Goes to A Quiet Place
Over 100 films and 43 world premieres fill a noisy nine days

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 2, 2018

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Pika pika pika? Pika pika pika pika pika pika pika.

May 10, 2019

Period drama keeps the techniques of Oscar winner Son of Saul but loses the emotional weight

April 26, 2019


Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha, SXSW Film

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle