Lady Bird

Lady Bird

Lady Bird

2017.  Directed by Greta Gerwig.

By Brian Wallinger

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Critically acclaimed actress-turned-director Greta Gerwig; in her debut film Lady Bird; holds nothing back in her modest, yet ambitious film about teenage adolescence and all of its internal conflicts. Not only does it achieve the ability to present a resonant and adequately sound picture, it also succeeds in paying tribute to old fashioned traditions.

Saoirse Ronan plays "Lady Bird", a resilient, ambitious, and resourceful catholic school student trying to make the best of her senior year and set her sites towards something greater.  Living with her middle class family in Sacramento, it is financially difficult for her to obtain these goals.  Ronan is supported by Laurie Metcalf, who portrays her overprotective mother, while Lucas Hedges delivers another excellent turn as one of Lady Bird's peers.  

The film's cinematographer Sam Levy goes above and beyond to capture both interior and exterior shots though it is use of the outside world's natural lighting and choice of color composition that really sets the tone and atmosphere of the film's environment. The editing  by Nick Houy provides a solid, steady pace; running at a prefect balance that doesn't feel misconstrued or out of place. The music by Jon Brion is also an elevating factor to the film's success.

Greta Gerwig has produced one of the most memorable film debuts of all time and she has done it with great understanding and compassion that isn't forced or manipulated.  Films such as this are a rare breed that strive to be something more than the sum of their parts.  Lady Bird is a prime example of life as a hopeful youth with dreams and the need to pursue them no matter the obstacles, be it discrimination or financial hardship. These are the kind of people who stand out and make a difference in the lives of others.  Lady Bird reminds us that we often forget to reflect on ourselves: Who we are, what we want, and why we want it at all. 

Lady Bird is a celebration of life, youth, friendship, hardship, and family tradition, though it is also about being the odd one out and embracing the "will to be weird" and just go with it no matter what.

☆☆☆☆

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