Well, the Cubicle Escapee website is down so I would like to review LADY BIRD while it is still fresh in my mind. I will post reviews on here until website is back up and then re post them. Anyway, what intrigued me about Lady Bird was it’s 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. What intrigued me even further was the fact that Greta Gerwig wrote and directed it, and while this is her first time writing and directing a feature, she has co-written some together with Noah Baumbach such as Frances Ha and Mistress America. If you are familiar with my reviews I’m not too huge of a fan of Noah Baumbach films (I didn’t like the recent Netflix Meyerowitz Stories), and I didn’t like Frances Ha and Mistress America. So I’m probably guessing that Noah Baumbach is the main reason for those failures because I really liked Lady Bird and completely agree with all the praise it is getting.
It is a really weird and realistic film about a girl getting out of high school in Sacramento, that is always at odds with her mother, she calls herself Lady Bird because she doesn’t want to be recognized by her real name, and she is trying to apply to college far away to escape her doomed Sacramento life. Lady Bird is played to perfection by Saoirse Ronan, who you might know from when she was nominated rightfully so for the movie Brooklyn, but you may mainly know her as the little girl that fucked things up for James McAvoy and Keira Knightly in Atonement (she was nominated for that too). And she should be nominated for this. Saoirse Ronan plays Lady Bird as a rebellious, quirky, teenager that isn’t afraid to admit her own faults. She’s not the Hollywood rebellious teen either, as she doesn’t do over the top things to do so. Her rebelliousness is realistic and relatable.
Laurie Metcalf I think also deserves a nomination playing Lady Bird’s mother, as I’ve never seen her better in anything else. If she doesn’t win you over earlier in the film, she will in the final car airport scene. The acting all around is fantastic. Lucas Hedges (who was nominated for Manchester By The Sea) plays one of Lady Bird’s boyfriends that has his own demons in his closet and Tracy Letts plays her maybe too understanding father.
Greta Gerwig also comes into her own as a director, having a certain camera and visual style I was able to pick up on. Kind of like Wes Anderson, but without everything looking like a god damn symmetrical diorama school project (sorry but Anderson has over done that to death). Her films has nice contract colors and a visual palette that is very easy on the eyes. If she can stay away from her boyfriend Noah Baumbach and do things on her own, I think she could go places, as this film is a fantastic individual endeavor.
If you like quirky films, then you don’t want to miss this. I would say see it just for Saoirse Ronan, as everything she does is worth the price of admission alone (except for Atonement which other than her performance I thought was God awful). But it has good lessons of feminism, individuality, and relationships to booth. I love movies that feel real, that feel like they are situations any normal human being can get into. Films like that tap into the audience’s soul, making a more worthwhile film going experience. This is one of those.