Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lady Bird

Movie Name: Lady Bird
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalfe, Lucas Hedges, Tracy Letts, Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Lois Smith, Jake McDorman, Jordan Rodrigues, Odeya Rush, Andy Buckley, Marielle Scott
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
View Trailer

Celebrated actress Greta Gerwig (she was last seen in Mike Mill's wonderful, "20th Century Women"), has followed up her first directorial effort, with the largely autobiographical "Lady Bird", in what is one of the best films of the year. The film follows the story of Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson, who is a senior in high school, in 2002, in the Sacramento area. She's intelligent, filled with enthusiasm, but most of all, she longs to leave Sacramento, and move to the East Coast, particularly New York, in order to go to college. She currently attends a Catholic school, where she is best friends with the sweet and understanding Julie. They both decide to audition for a play, since Christine isn't really sure that's something she wants to do, but it's definitely something she wants to try. Once there she meets a young man by the name of Danny, whom she develops an infatuation with, and whom she starts dating. After the premiere of the play, the group goes for a celebration, and Christine discovers some hidden secrets about Danny. As her life keeps going through ebbs and flows, the more Lady Bird knows she wants to try something different, and move beyond the expectations of staying where she is.
"Lady Bird" is a film that surprises and delights, due to its combination of humor, heart, style and incisive observations. It's a film that is so very funny, without ever falling to pratfalls or easy subterfuges. It anchors its humor in the situations that it depicts, and it does so by representing how life is filled with a combination of drama and the absurd. Greta Gerwig manages to build a story and give the central character an arc, and a sense of growth, that comes from allowing this young woman to understand her mistakes, but also pose her questions, declare her ambitions, and find her own identity. It's a film that expertly mixes the angst of growing up with the humor behind certain situations. And it makes it by making the central character authentic, inquisitive, and not perfect. It's a film that is intelligent, with a sense of style and taste that reveals a lot of insight. Saoirse Ronan once again proves she's an excellent actress, as does Laurie Metcalfe, who plays her mom with a ferocious intent and energy. A really great film worth watching.