Ian Fastert’s review published on Letterboxd:
The movie that brought me back.
Lady Bird, in which we experience a year in the life of a high school senior, is a movie "about" many things, a movie that deals with almost as much shit as it's main character, and that is...kinda overwhelming to process, at least 30 minutes after leaving the theater.
When I say we experience life, I mean LIFE, in all caps, as we go through a journey that makes you laugh, and cry, and admire everything not only about the movie but about, well, your life, and the world, and every little thing you take for granted. As I drove home from Lady Bird, I looked out the window at the neon lights and reflections on green signs lining the highway and I just got lost in it all. Lady Bird, the self-given name of our main character, is inside all of us in some way, which...well, you can take that however you please, because she sure is a busy character, that's pretty clear. She does dumb things, she acts up, and she seems to know she's the main character, but we all have a little bit of that in us, at least I think so.
And then there are the tender moments, when she knows she's in the wrong, and she lets everything stop orbiting her for a bit, to help the people around her she cares about. And...yeah, we all have a little bit of that too. Even the most monstrous people have someone they care about.
The film is made in this way that basically prevents you from appreciating every little thing about it in the first watch, which is fucking genius because that's what our main character is going through too, and what we all go through on a daily basis. You get into a situation, you work your way out of it, you move on, but when you think about it sometime after you'll find another way things could have gone, or decipher something that you shrugged off at the time. The first time through you're just thinking of yourself, how to get yourself out, and in the first watch of the movie you're thinking about mainly Lady Bird. It doesn't stop you from noticing other things, but they aren't what you're invested in. Second run throughs will probably have me looking deep into the hearts of all the other characters, all of whom are fleshed out (even though some of them have barely a minute of screen time). There's just a lot of...living! A lot of life, in Lady Bird, a lot of what it means to live with other people around you, and the impacts we have on each other's lives, even though it's hard to understand that sometimes because you're only living your own.
And it's funny! It's really funny, and content-wise it's basically Greta Gerwig's (more structured) take on Napoleon Dynamite, but that still feels like it's devaluing the movie, because this is something that is so completely HER vision, at it's heart at least, that even if comparisons can easily be made the heart is what makes all the difference, and just how truthfully it shows the stress and joys of life.
Now, when I said more structured, that wasn't entirely a good thing, as the movie kinda dips into high school cliche's in the middle, mostly with a plot-line involving Lady Bird trying to be friends with the popular girl and leaving behind her best friend who isn't cool and you obviously know how that ends because you've seen it a million times. I'm kinda baffled as to why this whole thing is even in the movie, because it doesn't really add much other than ending beautifully when she goes back to her real best friend, and it left me feeling underwhelmed and sad, because I really love everything else this movie has to offer (other than the score, I do not like the score, I think it is very bland) so the score I'm giving this is what I believe it is quality-wise, but not every movie that's important to you has to be a 5 star masterpiece. And Lady Bird is important. It's reinvigorated my love of movies, and reminded me to notice all life's little details.
It's beautiful and special, just like everyone I know :)