Lady Bird nails the well-intentioned but self-centered stage of adolescence where you haven’t yet completely learned to look past and recognize something other than your own immediate wants and desires. Where you’re so sure of your path and ready for your future that you don’t take the time to appreciate the present and all the sacrifices made by people who care to provide opportunities and a good life.
The feeling of familiarity with the whole plot is unavoidable, however, in addition to expecting new stories, cinema is a source of constant renewal of the stories already told. What Greta Gerwig does is as difficult as creating something brand new: transform a repeated product into an interesting, genuine and sincere film without falling into artificialism. “Lady Bird” may not be original, but it found strength by the beautiful unity of the parts, in a cozy film about real humans who are constantly looking for themselves – an arduous task we all face.
Gerwig’s feel for something resembling reality, with its offbeat, unbalanced rhythms and abrupt transitions, makes her work indescribably vivid; and it’s refreshing to see a filmmaker tell a story about a family whose economic stability isn’t at all assured from one week to the next, and to illuminate some of the class envy and embarrassment that results. Her penmanship as a screenwriter reveals a savvy awareness about how teenagers talk and which topics swirl around in their brains: alcohol, drugs, gossip, sex. The dialogue is never stiff and formal; it’s refreshingly blunt and rustically authentic.
Saoirse Ronan once again proves that she might be the best and most versatile actress of her generation. She turns into another wonderful performance and adds a completely new character to her resume. For sure one of the top performances. It feels like she does it with such an ease, as if she became that character. Ronan was really able to transform. Also Laurie Metcalf was outstanding. She had a lot of things going on with her and the way she made her character handle and struggle with those was also extraordinary.
Infuriatingly, “Lady Bird” is great its first 80 minutes and then inexplicably botches the ending. Not because it cheapens itself by wrapping things up with a neat little bow. It doesn’t, nor did I want or need it to, but it breaks the compact parameters of the story it wanted to tell and the closing act feels like a tagged on epilogue reminiscent of a superfluous P.S. on a gorgeously composed letter. It doesn’t taint anything that comes before it, but culminated in a somewhat awkward, uncertain sensation for me when the credits started rolling.
‘Lady Bird’ gets an 8.0/10
Shot on 35's Rating Sheet: 9.6 – 10.0: Excellent! 8.6 – 9.5: Fantastic, but with minor flaws 7.6 – 8.5: Great, but with issues 6.6 – 7.5: Okay, but with major issues 5.6 – 6.5: Had potential, but falls flat hard. 4.5 – 5.5: Disaster!
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