Sunday, November 19, 2017


LADY BIRD was on my must-see list because I've heard nothing but praise for it, and because it was written and directed by Greta Gerwig, a movie actor I consider to be among the best. The film scores high on her directing. All the actors give great performances, with the main stars—Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf—deserving awards for theirs.

Another reason I went to see the movie was Lois Smith. Since I went to see EAST OF EDEN when it opened in 1955 and I had just become a teenager, I've dug every performance she has ever given. This one, as an aging but ebullient nun, no less. She should have won every award there is by now, and if they don't give her a lifetime achievement award soon (she's gotta be in her eighties or close to it), it's a crime.

Though I recommend seeing LADY BIRD for the acting, and its moments of profundity, poignancy, and humor, and though the benefit of having a female director and writer for a female coming-of-age story was obvious in scenes that a movie junkie like me had never seen in a movie before, the writing was inconsistent becoming surprisingly cliched at times—the wealthy mean high school girl nemesis of the protagonist, the obligatory vomit-on-or-near-the-guy-on-the-first-date, etc.

Also, some scenes offered unique situations the movie fails to explore, or raise questions the film fails to answer. But Gerwig sure gets a lot about growing up not rich, and Catholic school stuff, right. And most of the packed audience I saw it with obviously loved it.

1 comment:

richard lopez said...

i respectfully disagree. i thought gerwig's writing was superb. each character hit just the right notes. even the popular girl was not the cliched mean girl, but a fleshed out human being. same goes for lady bird's second boyfriend. and without giving out spoilers but there is that scene with lady bird's first crush, when he goes to see her at her coffee shop job, that is so fresh, so sweet, so forgiving i choked up.

and there were small touches, such as lady bird falling with glee on her front lawn when she got that college letter that is quite original. the movie was full of these small touches. this is a small miracle of a film.

i agree about lois smith. her nun was not the stereotypical harsh, unforgiving character we often see in movies. she is instead a human being with her own lust for life.

another actor, tracy letts, was equally wonderful too as lady bird's father.

one more thing. this is the first flick i have seen that shows great love of my hometown. this flick is a greta gerwig's love letter to sacramento.