Award season has come and gone, so many great films were honored and praised. While so many amazing actors and actresses were rewarded for their thoughtful and ground breaking performances. One film that stood out to me in particular was Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird‘. In her first directorial debut Gerwig soars in this semi autobiographical masterpiece.
The film stars Soairse Ronan as Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson, a senior in high school who nows has to begin thinking about her future. Ronan shines in this role, essentially playing a young version of Gerwig herself. Bringing out the best of her characters qualities as a free-spirited, vulnerable, witty and outspoken girl. This film combines comedy together with just the right amount of pathos. As the story progresses we begin to see changes within Christine, like we would see in any teenage girl as she goes through life.
Others that shined in this film along side Ronan were Lucas Hedges who played Lady Bird’s gay boyfriend Danny, Beanie Feldstein who plays the hilarious Jenny, her best friend. Timothee Chalamet plays Kyle, the bad boy who Lady Bird falls in love with. But the most notable performance in this film was Laurie Metcalf who plays Lady Bird’s mother Marion.
The relationship between Marion and Christine is the entire focal point of the film. The first scene we get is with the two of them. We can see that they are so similar to each other and sometimes that similarity causes conflict between them as we see countless times throughout the film. They argue about college, work, boys and basically all of Lady Bird’s choices. She doesn’t feel like her mother actually likes her as a person, that she has to love her because she’s her daughter. But Christine struggles with trying to make her mother proud of her, just once.
Every decision that Lady Bird makes is determined by what is going on in her life at that time. She bases everything off her emotions and what she feels. She joins the school play and becomes the perfect student because she wants to go to college in New York, far away from her judging mother. She chases after the bad boy because her first love turned out to be gay. She ditches all of her old friends because she wants to seem cool in front of Kyle and the popular kids. Everything that Christine does is based on her emotions and we see how she self-destructs and eventually breaks down, realizing that she doesn’t want to be that kind of person anymore. She doesn’t want to be so sefl centered and only think about herself.
This film made me feel things that I haven’t felt in a very long time. Remembering what it was like to be a kid with your entire future in front of you but having no idea on how to attain it. Bouncing through life, doing everything in your power to gain acceptance and find out who you are. I felt the overwhelming energy when Lady Bird argued with her mother. I felt the sadness in both of their hearts when they couldn’t figure out how to communicate with each other. I could see how it was making their relationship crumble.
The final scenes are what tore me apart the most. Watching how Christine just wanted so much to connect with her mother before leaving for college for good. The emotion displayed in those scenes was just overwhelmingly beautiful. Ronan and Metcalf managed to convey something that I haven’t seen on-screen in a long time, something I haven’t seen in any films I’ve seen as of late. It all felt real, so real that it pierced your own heart and suddenly you were crying alongside them. Hearing Christine call her mom after her first night in New York and thank her for everything she had done destroyed me. Simply because I was in Lady Bird’s shoes not to long ago with my own family. When film does that, when it directly connects to you and your own situations, it makes it that much more beautiful.
Greta Gerwig created something that was real, raw, hilarious, passionate and heartbreaking all at the same time. Anyone who watches this film can find something or someone who they directly connect with. They can find something that resonates within them. This project is something that will forever live in my heart. The performances, the amazing soundtrack filled with songs that explained my growth in the 2000’s, I will cherish everything about this film. Rarely does any work of art accomplish everything that Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ has. The Oscar nominations and the two Golden Globe wins for ‘Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” for Gerwig and ‘ Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy’ for Ronan, are very well deserved. As a pervious fan of Gerwig and Ronan’s work I am extremely proud of everyone involved in this project and the success that it has achieved.
As a film nut and as a man who simply loves art, I implore you to go and watch ‘Lady Bird’ for yourselves. I promise that you will be just as moved, laugh just as hard and cry just as much as I did. I promise you won’t regret it.
‘Lady Bird‘ is now available to stream or rent on any digital retailer. It will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 8th, 2018, be sure to pick it up. I know I will!