In this heated time of polarized opinions where every movie has to beat every blockbuster, a time where every film must define itself by a moment and blogs rule as king and… Let’s take a minute a catch our breath. The world does feel exhausting.
In a world where blockbusters may reign king in the eyes of those who think audiences crave to escape reality, ENTER: writer/director Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha). Hit the brakes on your suspension of disbelief because here’s a movie that makes you fall in love with it because of HOW and WHY it’s so believable.
Lady Bird is the coming of age story of Christine “Lady Bird” (a self-adorned moniker) McPherson. Wes Anderson would be jealous of making a teenage tale of woe so heartbreaking-ingly (if that’s a word) believable. Here’s a seventeen-year-old girl in Sacramento, California that doesn’t deliver ANY form of Hollywood love story.
The magic of this movie is that it’s a love letter to love letters. It’s a movie purely based on feelings that must strive to make you feel something by bringing you along for a ride of your own emotions. The reason it works is that it doesn’t try to tell you how to feel about anything. It somehow manages to capture life as it is for those of us who aren’t normal. Anyone who has never been ordinary or regular can find a home here.
The thrust of the film isn’t about the milestones it reaches for or grasps. When you hit a certain age, everyone has their own experiences of losing their virginity, going to prom and going to college. The way this movie operates is in its magical sense of emotional continuity. And what makes it work is the emotional continuity built from the powerful performances of Saisorie Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. The mother and daughter dynamic is an absolute powerhouse to the point that it feels like theatre on camera.
If you’ve ever been through the social bureaucracy of high school, been a teenager, or honestly tried to discover yourself, there’s something here for you. What makes this movie happen is that it brings the feelings you’ve always had out of you. It doesn’t attempt to conjure them like magic. It brings the power of everyday life off the page and makes it leap through the screen and into your heart.
If you need a movie that's a love story about the beat of your heart that makes it about the bond between a mother and a daughter, this is it. If this is Greta Gerwig finding her legs behind the camera, let her run like the wind, because Lady Bird is a winner.
Director: Greta Gerwig Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Lois Smith Distributor: A24 (United States), Focus Features (International) Release date: November 3, 2017 (United States) Running time: 93 minutes