What We’re Watching: Lady Bird
January 11, 2018
Today we’d like to talk about a film we can’t get enough of — “Lady Bird.”
This past weekend “Lady Bird” won Best Actress and Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.
It’s a coming-of-age story about Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a 17-year-old girl in her senior year of high school, who has a challenging relationship with her mother. This isn’t necessarily a revolutionary storyline, but “Lady Bird” approaches this common narrative with flare. In her directorial debut, Greta Gerwig adds adolescent development through the structure of Catholic high school, which I am all too familiar with myself. Needless to say, various themes and references resonate with me and I’m sure, a decent portion of the film’s audience as well. Here’s what makes the film so great:
Beyond the narrative, the cinematography of this film is beautiful and strategic while also evoking some great comedic moments. One of my favorites was a shot of a nun at the prom, who’s theme was “Eternal Flame”, and she is surrounded by decorative paper flames. It cuts very quickly, but gives the appearance of her surrounded by the fires of Hell. It is these hilarious, dark comedy moments that make this film so good.
One shot I remember in particular is a scene where “Lady Bird,” now 18, stands outside a convenience store after buying her first pack of cigarettes, a Playgirl , and a scratch-off ticket. As she smokes a cigarette and browses through the naked centerfold, she is perched against a colorful, graffitied wall. Color is a huge part of the aesthetic of this film. To me, it portrayed a stark contrast of the typical Catholic school structure and required uniforms.
The writing and dialogue were both fabulous. This story expresses the conflicting nature of the everyday teenager and figuring out who you want to, should, or could be. A line that powerfully hit me was an exchange between “Lady Bird” and her teacher. While trying to counsel “Lady Bird,” her teacher said, “Don’t you think maybe they’re the same thing? Love and attention?”
Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf give incredible performances as a mother-daughter dueling duo, and the rest of the cast is also brilliant. Although, Saoirse never seems to disappoint in my book. This is one to see, Ravers!
And major bonus, it’s one of the only (if not the only?) films nominated this year with a female director. Bravo, Greta Gerwig!