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LADY BIRD, your week-end indie

lady-bird-your-week-end-indie

If you haven't heard about Lady Bird because you've been following Greta Gerwig's career, than you might have heard of it during or after the Golden Globes. The drama, directed by Gerwig, won two Golden Globes: one for Best Picture, one for Best Actress. This is Gerwig's directorial debut, but she's written two features before, Frances Ha and Mistress America.

The movie is slow-paced (so, not for everyone) and doesn't have the kind of story dynamics that gives you emotional highs and lows. However, it does offer insight and feeling. The narrative revolves around a mother and her daughter. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is about to go to college, but the family doesn't have a lot of money to support her dreams. Surely, you've seen many films like his before, but this is different because it doesn't showcase struggling and lower middle class like you've seen it before. The mother, played by Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, Horace and Pete), gives depth and nuance to her character, you can feel the love and the frustration like it's happening to you. Same goes for Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Brooklyn). Under Gerwig's direction, who's learned a thing or two from her husband, Noah Baumbach, the story is nicely knitted together, with no added sugar. She even made her actors leave their smartphones off set.

"The widespread approval the film is getting is predominantly passionate, not shrugging – indicative of a film that is resonating personally with a range of critics and viewers far broader than the white lower-middle-class Californian realm that it depicts with such acute but affectionate specificity.

In her bright, awkward, ambitious, insecurity-riddled protagonist, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, Gerwig has fashioned a heroine reflective of a wealth of outsider identities. In its finely drawn portrayal of economic pressures and class divisions within the relatively privileged belt of Sacramento suburbia, the film cuts a wide swath, speaking generously to the “just getting by” belt of America that rarely sees itself on screen.

It does all that with kindness, smart, often uproarious humour and a candid, feminine point of view – hell, it even quotes Joan Didion in its opening title card – that counters the crisis of gender representation now coming to a head in Hollywood. That makes it tacitly a film for the moment, a modest cinematic antidote to Trump culture." (The Guardian)

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"Gerwig’s restrained direction emerges from the very ideas in the film. The aesthetic of “Lady Bird,” its emotional and dramatic legibility, is a realism of morality, an utterly uncynical but clear-eyed sense of the responsibilities that come with the kind of money that it takes to make such a film, the kind of stylistic and tonal expectations that a movie of this sort creates and should fulfill in order for it to take its place in the field—and for Gerwig to take her apt place there along with it. There’s nobody in the film who performs with the freedom or the originality that Gerwig herself offers as an actor—in part, because Gerwig doesn’t give her actors an open narrative framework or production environment akin to the ones that have given rise to her own most original performances (including “Nights and Weekends,” from 2008, which she co-directed). “Lady Bird” isn’t a film that is stuck in conventions; it’s one that borrows them, but from within, not quoting them but treating them, too, with a sort of practical respect for a mature art that’s akin to the very reconciliations that are built into the story itself.

Nonetheless, two scenes, occurring late in “Lady Bird,” are among the most thrillingly directed of recent moments, and suggest with a clarion intensity that her directorial imagination reaches beyond the film’s primary mode of practical drama. To avoid spoilers, let’s just say that one is a scene of Marion driving by herself, and the other is a scene featuring flashbacks from Lady Bird’s point of view. These scenes, composed of disparate elements, rich in subjectivity, conjuring drama and emotion with simple but bold devices of editing, rise very high as cinematic music. These brief moments are the movie’s greatest exhilarations; even more than the copious and generously imagined drama that gives rise to them, they suggest the wider and freer inspirations of the directorial career that, if there’s any justice in the industry, Gerwig is launched on." (The New Yorker)

Check out the trailer below.

Tags:   news, trailer, indie, film news, Lady Bird

Related:   Mistress America, Frances Ha, Brooklyn, The Lovely Bones, Horace and Pete, Lady Bird


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  • AntMan2018   239 posts
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