Brett Schutt’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Were you emotional, Mom, the first time you drove in Sacramento?"
So interesting story, the other day I was talking with one of my friends from High School who is also an aspiring filmmaker, and I asked him what he thought of Lady Bird. He told me he wasn't really a fan of it and in disbelief I asked, "why?" and he replied, "the scenes didn't have motivation."
This is something I really didn't understand at first, so, on a rewatch I actually tried to decide what he meant by it. I think I get it honestly.
Each scene in Lady Bird isn't progressing the plot, heck, there hardly even is a plot in the film really. It's a slice of life film about a girls final year of High School and finding her place in the world. It's as simple and its been done so many times before. Heck, the film uses so many troupes you've seen in countless John Hughes films in the 80's.
So, why is this being acclaimed as one of the best films of the year? I think for a lot of us, it hits a nerve and makes us think about our own lives.
Greta Gerwig, through her glossy lens of a place she adored, Sacramento, brings us a nice, calming mellow film where nothing of huge stakes happen. Scenes happen that are only there to show brief interactions with characters that will soon have us care for them even more as scenes progress. She makes scenes in the film that are only there because it feels so authentic. Gretas wit is insane, because there's an obvious distinct voice in all these characters yet they all feel like such real and rich characters. I think that is because Gewig's voice is different for each character, its like the way she heard her mom or older brother.
Not to mention, the way they pinpoint the way Christine (or Ladybird) is changing and evolving as a person through every boyfriend, dance, musical, new change of friends, suspension or just a simple disagreement with her mom is so hard hitting to me.
This is such an easy watch to get absorbed in, it's a film where I forget I'm watching a film and get lost in these characters, and honestly that's the highest compliment I can give any film.
I understand Ladybirds fear of the future, and never believing she's good enough for her family yet wanting more from what seems to be her simple existence. It's like the entire time she wants something dramatic to happen so she can write her own story of bravery, yet, as she says in the film, "not just war is sad."
Most everyone in life has to deal with stress and the constant unknowing of where life is going to take you. Even if you are in a good spot in life, it's hard to know where you are going to be employed or how the people you hang out with will change. There's always an uncertainty of knowing what people believe you are and what you believe yourself.
"How can people believe in a name their parents have them and not God?"
It's a weird sociology question- belief. Something we put our heart into. I believe that Lady Bird is going to be known as one of the classics of this decade because it doesn't dare to do anything but present the life of a quirky girl trying to find her place. Simply, making someone interesting but grounded is what is going to resonate with the most people. There is at least one aspect of this film that you probably connected with when you watched the movie, because Greta Gerwig is letting us all know that we all get sad, upset and bittersweet sometimes thinking about our past, but, there's something kinda pleasant and sweet about it too- knowing that the future could be filled with so many wonderful things and you could end up being there at The Academy someday for your work and life your best life.
"Did you have a mother that made you put away your clothes before you went to bed? Do you wish she didn't."
Just, such a hard hitting moment, we all wish and desire certain things out of people, but, we all have our own points of view. Ladybird isn't the bad guy, the mother isn't. They are both right and wrong about each other, its the disconnect that comes with growing up and what you witness and what shapes you that is the true antagonist in this story. When you grow up, you must grab hold of something, love and care. Maybe some people won't like you for who you are- because everyone in some way is insecure and must love themselves. Some people do this but shutting others out. If you don't agree on someone with anything, I doubt you will be their friend. We all come from different backgrounds and different stretches of life, there could be a really decent person that is helping a life that you don't care for- that's life. Ladybird shows us that in life, we need to be open minded to other ideas. It's okay if someone likes the song "Crash into Me" and you don't. It doesn't make the song bad or good- it just means it represents something to two different people.
This is just some ramblings I have on Lady Bird, which is a film I can honestly see sneaking way up on my favorites list (its already in my 50.) It just makes me warm inside and question the world around us and how we interact every time I watch it, and I think its because its one of the most authentic and true coming of age and slice of life films I've ever seen.
I need Greta Gerwigs next film right now.