With one of my favourite trailers of the year, the awards attention, the theme of coming of age and the critical acclaim, 'Lady Bird' very quickly became one of the year's most anticipated films for me. Deliberately didn't see it at opening weekend though, just in case it was busy and difficult to get tickets, after the insane opening weekend of 'Black Panther'.
'Lady Bird' in no way disappointed. With the above, was hoping that it would be one of my favourite films of the year and it turned out to be exactly that, the awards attention and acclaim more than fully deserved. This doesn't just fly, 'Lady Bird' actually soars and have not seen a coming of age-themed film in recent memory this sparkling or honest or with this amount of humour, brains, heart and charm. Have seen it mentioned as a passion project, and if it was the passion and hard work can be seen all over.
It is a very appealing film visually, with beautiful and colourful cinematography and with editing that flows succinctly and cohesively. The music is has energy yet knows when to understate itself when needed. In her first film as solo director, Greta Gerwig directs with a nimble touch, the comedy is light on its feet and she avoids making the emotional elements heavy-handed or tonally jarring.
The script is one of the year's best, my personal pick actually for this year's Best Original Screenplay Oscar of the nominees. The comedy sparkles in wit and is genuinely hilarious, done in an honest and true to life way yet with some cringes like it would be in real life too. Over-sentimentality is avoided in the more emotional and dramatic scenes, there are some really sweet and poignant moments and an endearing personal touch.
Found myself really emotionally investing in and relating to the mother and daughter relationship, their bonding bringing tears to my eyes and then making me smile and laugh when botched and leaving me with hope at resolution at the same time. The coming of age/angsty elements have a truthfulness, authenticity and twinkle and it was very easy to identify with them if in the same position growing up, they're often very funny but also very heartfelt and charming.
Story is immensely engaging throughout right from the riotous opening to the more emotional and avoiding-being-too-pat ending, anchored by the mother and daughter relationship that entertains, moves and provokes thought. Didn't mind at all that it wasn't ground-breaking, due to not expecting it to be as coming of age can be predictable. Enjoyed the way the characters were written, and appreciated that the film broke away from the typical archetype of school teachers being over-disciplinary and without humour.
Performances are never less than great, with Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf fully inhabiting their characters and phenomenally. It was wonderful for both to get awards attention with both giving two of the year's best performances. Lois Smith twinkles too in her role.
If Lucas Hedges (who has grown quite a lot) and Timothee Chalamet (not as good as his truly remarkable performance in 'Call Me By Your Name' but showing why he is one of the most promising recent rising stars) continue to go down this promising path they are likely to go on to big careers.
Concluding, fabulous film and one of my favourites of the year. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Comedy / Drama
Comedy / Drama
Christine "Lady Bird" MacPherson is a high school senior from the "wrong side of the tracks." She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. LADY BIRD follows the title character's senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college.
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February 26, 2018 at 07:44 AM