Lady Bird ★★★★½

“You both have such a strong personalities. She doesn’t know how to help you and it frustrates her.”

I’ve grown and changed so much since I last saw this, but I’m so grateful that my mom is still a constant in my life no matter how much we brawl with each other. We are both very complicated and strong-willed people, but god, no one understands me like she does and nobody ever will. 

The thing that kills me about this movie is Greta’s attention to detail in every little interaction between Marion and Christine, even the seemingly random parts like the model home tours (something I never realized anyone but me and my own mom did for fun). I think a few years of distance have made me understand Marion a little more, specifically her own struggles which she hides from Christine and the frustration and guilt that bubbles under the surface because she both does and doesn’t want Christine to ask about them. Christine is right when she says that the reason her mom is tough on her is because she cares about her so much, but for that same reason, every minor tussle hurts so much more.

In August, I am moving to NYC. It’s something I’ve (possibly very naively and/or stupidly) dreamed about since I was 9 years old because even then, I hated Florida and wanted nothing more than to get out. This sentiment continued through my middle school, high school, and college years, growing exponentially until things finally came into focus for me about a month ago. It’s not that I don’t want to go. I do. But it’s like that quote from The Last Black Man in San Francisco: you don’t get to hate it (in my case: Orlando) unless you love it, and looking back, I was just so damn resentful all the time. I said I hated my town and, in the beginning, I said I hated the college I went to because it wasn’t one of the “new england liberal arts colleges” that I drooled over but couldn’t afford to go to. To this day, I don’t really know why I acted like that. I leave Gainesville on Saturday and I only have a few more nights left with my remaining roommate/one of my best friends in the apartment we’ve shared for three years. I feel like a part of me is dying and I’m already in mourning. I start packing tomorrow, and even with boxes scattered across the floor, I know I could still walk from one end of the apartment to the other with my eyes closed and not trip over anything (and I’m a really clumsy person so that’s saying something). It’s comforting to know somewhere that intimately. I kind of feel the same way about both of these Florida cities I’ve lived in. I could drive from one familiar haunt to the next in my mind without leaving my bed, and that same familiarity that has suffocated me for so many years feels more like the tattered remains of a security blanket lately, or perhaps that’s just the last shreds of my adolescence slipping through my fingers. I hate Florida, but I’ll miss it. I love my friends that I’ve made and all of the stupid, messy memories we share and the language we’ve invented that’s entirely our own. I love my dad and his gentle soul and attempts to make me smile even on my worst days. And I love my mom, the most strong, selfless, fascinating, and loving woman I have ever known, or rather, who I’m still just starting to get to know. I’m so scared for my own phone call moment, which I know is going to come eventually even though I’ve been pretending it won’t. But I’m mostly filled with hope. I’m subsisting on hope. And I’m so glad that revisiting this film when I did could reawaken that feeling and envelope me in its sincerity and tenderness. I really, really needed it.

“But I wanted to tell you. I love you. Thank you, I’m... thank you.”

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