Vol. 11, No. 5 – Dec 6 – Dec 19, 2017 – Movie Review

Lady Bird Review: 4 palm trees out of 4
Breeze rating from 1 to 4 palm trees, 4 being best.

by Manuel Reynoso

Lady Bird is a 2017 American teen-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig, and starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith.

Sacramento native Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is a burnt out teen desperately wanting to leave the west coast. Rebellious with a strong personality, Christine desperately tries to find herself. Lady Bird is a coming-of-age story exploring Christine’s relationship with her parents, friends, and herself.

The quality of the writing exhibited in Lady Bird is, as a writer, what I strive for in life. Now I hate to admit it, but when I see the words “Teen Drama” I can get a little skeptical, but don’t let that be a pejorative. Lady Bird is a drama of the highest caliber. Powerful is almost too grandiose of a word to describe the familial intimacy being shown here, and yet subtle downplays how cathartic this film can be. Greta Gerwig directorial debut was nothing less than a triumph and her script shows an intimate understanding of interpersonal relationships. By the time this publishes, Lady Bird may still be showing in downtown Ventura, and I can’t recommend it more.

Greta Gerwig directorial debut has this rawness to it. It’s a little unrefined, perhaps due to her inexperience in directing features, but that rawness only compliments the subject matter of the film. The portrayal of these characters and their relationship are just as raw as the way this story is told. It comes at you fast and every moment of respite you’re given ends as soon as it begins, just like life. I hope to see more of Greta Gerwig’s directing in the future, but not as much as I look forward to seeing more of her writing.

The writing in Lady Bird is where the magic is. Each character is so dense with emotion and personality, and the relationships between them feels authentic. Gerwig’s understanding of human relationships is the sole reason why Lady Bird is as effective as it is. Character’s personalities are so meticulously crafted that their actions feel authentic. Every bit of conflict does not feel forced, but the natural result of strong personalities bumping heads; and these conflicts can get all too real at times. We’ve all lived through the strife that Lady Bird depicts. It’s not sexy or romantic, it’s genuine, and that in itself is where the beauty is.
There’s a talent in depicting the mundane, day to day slog of life as anything more than depressing. The strife one feels when struggling to grow up or struggling to stay afloat, but Gerwig always leaves a silver lining to be found. A sense of hope, despite when things appear almost too difficult to press forward. That is why Lady Bird is a must see. Lady Bird is more than likely the movie of the year for me, and I urge everyone to see it if you can. Rated R 1h34m

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