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Review: Tiny Furniture

Posted March 6, 2012 by in Comedy







Musical Score

Total Score

69/ 100

What We Thought

Actors: , ,

What We Liked :

Uniquely shot with a Canon 7D HDSLR - Acting and Directing from Lena Durham

What We Disliked:

Feels like a first effort - Doesn't have all that much to say
Bottom Line

Tiny Furniture is a good look at Lena Dunham, a woman who has a bright future ahead of her, and the possibilities of shooting with a HDSLR.

by Max
Full Article

Aura (Lena Dunham) has just graduated from college with no job. Something our generation has dealt with a lot. She has returned home in New York to live with her mother (Laurie Simmons) and sister (Grace Dunham). She’s interested in making films, but there isn’t too much hope for that outlet. Aura decides she will get a job and find a boyfriend, not necessarily in that order.

Aura’s new best friend Charlotte (Jemima Kirke), invites Aura to a party and introduces her to Jed (Alex Karpovsky). His YouTube videos have become somewhat of a hit and this excites Aura because of the possible relationship scenario. Jed lets Aura know that a deal has gone bad and he might need a place to crash for a few days. Aura, thinking Jed might actually like her, invites him to crash at her place for a few days.


For her next venture, Aura finds a new job answering phones for a small restaurant. The job pays just about nothing and it does nothing for her self-esteem. It seems that the only reason she wants to stay is because of the cute chef, Keith (David Call). He also has his own reason for using Aura because of his addiction with pills.

Following the struggles in life of a young woman is an interesting change of pace.

It’s obvious that Lena Dunham has been inspired by Woody Allen. The strength of Tiny Furniture lies in the relationships and the banter between the cast members. Following the struggles in life of a young woman is an interesting change of pace. The film also hits home on a lot of levels, college graduates coming home with worthless degrees. What initially seemed like endless possibilities gets lots in a sea of disappointment.

Tiny Furniture was also one of the first films to be primarily shot using a HDSLR. There were many challenges to being the first, but the D.P. Jody Lee Lipes’s, loved the color and image that the inexpensive setup provided. For more information on how Tiny Furniture was shot look into this piece by filmmakermagazine.

Tiny Furniture is listed as a comedy, but many times it just comes across as sad. A promising young woman with everything she needed to get started, relegated to empty relationships and bottom-feeder jobs. Aura almost comes across as someone who is too tired to fight back. She’ll have sex in the most demeaning way possible just to experience a little attention. Tiny Furniture is a good look at Lena Dunham, a woman who has a bright future ahead of her, and the possibilities of shooting with a HDSLR. Otherwise, much like how Aura lives her life, there isn’t much here to love.

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About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.



    Heard lots about this one, and now that it is a Criterion release I just might have to check it out sooner. Thanks for the review.


      I was always interested in the content of the film and how it was shot. It's a shame it didn't live up to my expectations, but it's worth checking out. More Criterion reviews coming soon!


    Oh it does sound like a sad movie after I read this. I thought at first it really is all about those cute, tiny furniture!


      It's a good thing you didn't go out of your way to see this based on the Furniture. It really has little to do with that.


    I have this at home to watch… I am going to get on it right now!

    I am just popping in to say HI. I have been manic this week, and I still am in changing my theme. This also means editing all the posts to fit the new size and look good… GRRRR

    Hope you are well


      It's an interesting story, but like I said the acting and cinematography is what really interested me. Looking forward to seeing your site all spruced up.


    Yes, the title about the cute furniture didn't fit the tone of the film.

    Best thing about Tiny Furniture for me was the witty dialogue. I’m told it was Natalie Portman’s fav film of 2010. I didn't know it was primarily shot using a HDSLR. Agree its about an attention-seeker.

    I heard Lena Dunham is kind of turning her Tiny Furniture character into a tv-show , the upcoming HBO series Girls. I'm not surprised the series is soon to be aired considering the success of Bridesmaids!


      The fact that it was shot on HDSLR's was one of my reasons for seeking it out. That and I feel exactly how Aura does in the movie. I have a degree that ended up not really getting me a job and other than my beautiful blog and some other things I'm still not settled in a position.

      There's been trailers about Girls going around. I'm not sure I'll check it out but maybe since I have HBO anyways.


    Look on the bright side. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts! We often thirst for what we don't have, and then when we are working, then after a while we yearn for being free again ( :

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