Friday, November 17, 2017

Lady Bird - Review

Interestingly enough, a film that brings to mind the classic coming-of-age films of the past manages to be charming, smart, and pleasantly unique in its own way. The setting nor plot scream originality and yet the film feels out of the ordinary, even special if you will. Lady Bird is the combination of all these elements, or tropes, but manages to spin it in a sharper, yet equally as affable, manner.

Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. 

Again, Lady Bird doesn’t try and fix what isn’t broken. The story is beat by beat a coming-of-age story that audiences have seen before. But that isn’t what makes the film what is by a long shot. The impeccable writing from Greta Gerwig, however, is arguably the films biggest strength. From the absolute onslaught of humor from scene to scene to the undeniable emotional moments, Gerwig crafts a truly intelligent and original look at adolescence.

Of course, it certainly helps when a first-time writer-director like Gerwig gets an amazing cast like the one assembled for Lady Bird. Saoirse Ronan in the title role is a complete joy to watch. She carries just the right amount of angst against her inherent likeability to really make the character work. Right across from her is Laurie Metcalf, the stern but caring mother of this rebellious daughter. Metcalf really does some great work in this role, as a character so eloquently puts it, she is “warm but scary”. The whole cast is just phenomenal though from top to bottom, though expect those two actresses to get plenty of nomination talk when the time comes.

It is an understatement to call this a solid directorial debut for Greta Gerwig. Every aspect of the film is crafted delicately to portray the story she wanted to tell. But the direction from Gerwig doesn’t stop with getting great performances or telling a story, her visual cues and comedic sensibilities shine through as well. Lady Bird is one of the funniest films of the year, without question. The comedic timing and chemistry that the cast shares combined with the writing of Gerwig makes for some pure and uncut comedy gold.

Overall, Lady Bird is a genuine and heartfelt coming-of-age film that captures the uncertainty of adolescence perfectly. It marks a wonderful directorial debut for Gerwig and some award worthy performances for Ronan and Metcalf. Through the film’s charming, quirky, and irrefutable loveliness, Lady Bird is the closest thing to a modern John Hughes-esque kind of film could be.

So what did you think of Lady Bird? Have you seen it? Are you interested in seeing it? Share, subscribe, comment below, and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.