Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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domino harvey
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Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#1 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:53 pm


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The Narrator Returns
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Re: Festival Circuit 2017

#2 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:13 am

Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird just played Telluride and is getting some great reviews, with particular praise for Saorise Ronan and Laurie Metcalf.

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Re: Festival Circuit 2017

#3 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:31 pm

The Narrator Returns wrote:Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird just played Telluride and is getting some great reviews, with particular praise for Saorise Ronan and Laurie Metcalf.
Laurie Metcalf is indeed her usual great self (and should get some award recognition for one scene of complying with post-9/11 airport parking procedures in particular), and the movie is charming and warm in a way that echoes last year's 20th Century Women while still distinguishing itself as something funnier and more shaggy. Gerwig acquits herself quite well as writer-director, adding a handful of flourishes without drawing too much attention to herself behind the camera, and serving her story well.

Also served as a welcome palate-cleanser after foolishly programming the new Rasoulof (A Man of Integrity) after Zvyagintsev's Loveless and being on the verge of needing antidepressants to continue.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#4 Post by knives » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:12 pm

Way to bury the lede. New Rasoulof should be the major story.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#5 Post by DarkImbecile » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:23 am

knives wrote:Way to bury the lede. New Rasoulof should be the major story.
Dammit, Knives! I only have so many opportunities to type something out on my phone between screenings as it is without feeling even more inadequate about my screening/posting choices!

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#6 Post by The Narrator Returns » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:20 am


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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#7 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:32 am

This was... pretty good. It was not, however, treading in territory that hasn’t been done better dozens of times. Gerwig is a very clever writer, but in making this screenplay distinctive from Frances Ha and Mistress America by removing nearly all of the acid that made those films so compulsively enjoyable (and the latter one of the best of this decade), she’s managed to take a step forward that also feels like a step back. While I can definitely see it as a sort-of prequel to Frances Ha, this material is much more commercial than either of those aforementioned films, and there will surely be a wave of nostalgia that gets people my age to the theater (I graduated high school in 2004, the titular character graduates in 2003). But it is also neutered and rote in some ways that makes it feel like a much less snappy rewrite of Juno (sans pregnancy). Yes, the one-liners and embarrassing instant slang concoctions from that film haven’t aged well, but at least there is something interesting and kinetic and serpentine going on there to pair with a relatively standard teenage coming-of-age story. Lady Bird, despite some excellent performances (Laurie Metcalf and Lucas Hedges are particular standouts) and touching moments, never manages to be more than a well-observed straight line.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#8 Post by Black Hat » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:00 am

mfunk9786 wrote:This was... pretty good. It was not, however, treading in territory that hasn’t been done better dozens of times.
Precisely.

Lady Bird was fine, funny in spots reminding a bit of Postcards from the Edge and well acted (Timothée Chalamet who carries Call Me By Your Name is great here too) but did the world really need another white middle class teenager coming of story? As I sat there I answered my own question realizing 'wow this is the kind of movie white people are going to fall over themselves for' and sure enough it was one of the few films at NYFF's press screenings to receive strong applause.

Greta Gerwig is one of the toughest people for me to assess critically. I can't dispute that she has talent. She's also extremely gracious and seems like a nice person. A person I would probably get on well with and respect personally but the level of praise she receives make my eyes roll. Perhaps this is because she seems to be the go to actress to play the young charismatic woman dealing with existential crisis in charming and funny ways when I don't find her to be all that interesting, troubled or funny. She's so polished that you never get past her surface shine. In fact I think her best work to date came in 20th Century Women when the part forced her out of that comfort zone and into revealing something of herself that involved deeper emotion, same goes for her small role in Mia Hansen-Løve's underrated Eden.

Gerwig strikes me as a sanitized version of Lena Dunham and as much as I dislike Dunham I do find her sloppiness to be authentic, even if it's mostly borne out of tone deaf ignorance. I'm not saying Gerwig is inauthentic, but I do think there is more to her than this manic pixie Brooklyn hipster vibe we keep seeing variations of.

To tie it back to Lady Bird, I think the film would have worked much better if it revolved around Laurie Metcalf as there was where the film's real conflict lived. With Ronan you knew from the first minute what her character arc would be. The only thing missing was the trope of the all knowing, charismatic teacher saving the day, tho based on what was in the film I suspect those scenes were filmed but thankfully left on the cutting room floor.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#9 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:12 am

But it’s good! I mean, it hits just about every note it needs to with honestly and sincerity. It just isn’t enough. It never was, but it especially isn’t now.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#10 Post by John Shade » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:42 pm

Black Hat wrote:In fact I think her best work to date came in 20th Century Women when the part forced her out of that comfort zone and into revealing something of herself that involved deeper emotion, same goes for her small role in Mia Hansen-Løve's underrated Eden.
I still really love Damsels in Distress and think it's her best work. Like mfunk, I'm also a big fan of Mistress America so was looking forward to this one. I'll see it, regardless of how many other iterations of this type of film already exist. Maybe lower expectations will help.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#11 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:41 pm

This had the highest per-screen average of any film this year (besting The Big Sick by almost $10,000) in its opening weekend, as well as the highest per-screen average of any film ever directed by a woman.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#12 Post by All the Best People » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:25 pm

What I think I like most about the film's concept is the emphasis on class, how embarrassment and shame can infect those even of relatively good means when they compare themselves to the better-off. This results in lies, an emphasis on false fronts and assumed identities; it is no wonder that Christine takes on her own self-created persona of Lady Bird when raised in such an environment. Though it's notable that when her facade about her class is exposed to a rich classmate, the latter's objection isn't to Lady Bird's lower social state, but to the fact that she lied about it. This distress pervades romantic entanglements as well, as Lady Bird's disappointments in that arena stem from perceived lies purveyed by her partners. The narrative is a journey to authenticity and acceptance of self and the best intentions of others. It's gone up in my estimation since seeing it a few days ago.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#13 Post by John Shade » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:49 pm

All the Best People: your description reminds me of Rushmore to some extent. Gerwig is getting some good reviews for this one.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#14 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:06 pm

It has a good deal in common with Rushmore, though that film’s visual creativity isn’t even scratched here

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#15 Post by All the Best People » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:51 am

Any resonances with Rushmore are thematic and apply in a general way to the setting; they are very different stylistically in practically every respect I can think of, from visual conception to the audio to overall tone and performances.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#16 Post by Black Hat » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:50 pm

Gerwig was on with Terry Gross today and without spoiling anything or positing my own opinion I'll say an 8 minute stretch starting from the 23 minute mark is a fascinating listen.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#17 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:26 am

I liked a lot of that interview, but that turn into Gross semi-interrogating Gerwig over Woody Allen and Dustin Hoffman had me full-body cringing (although Gerwig turning it back on Gross was probably as good a response as she could have given in that scenario).

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#18 Post by John Shade » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:23 pm

Should I listen to this interview if I haven't seen the movie?

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#19 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:28 pm

This isn’t really a spoiler type of movie.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#20 Post by John Shade » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:35 pm

I'm not one to care about spoilers, more like if they go into specific details. Rather see them first since I'll see this.

I'll give it a listen anyway

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#21 Post by ianthemovie » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:47 pm

Having listened to the interview and seen the movie, I can say that the interview doesn't spoil anything. (Fresh Air is usually pretty spoiler-free...)

That was deftly handled by Gerwig, by the way. Damn. I'm almost more impressed with how articulate and shrewd she is there than I am with the film itself (though that's also very good).

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#22 Post by The Narrator Returns » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:23 pm

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#23 Post by swo17 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:34 pm

Man, Abbie Porter's musical taste really took a hit in the '90s.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#24 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:06 pm

Justin Timberlake had his moments - for at least one album he approached his goal of making dance music on par with Michael Jackson's Off the Wall - but fucking hell, the other two suck now just as they sucked then.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#25 Post by Gregory » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:47 pm

Haven't seen the film, but please tell me she's just kidding about most of this:
The song "Crash into Me" was and is the most romantic song ever. It is sincere and loving and tender and epic. In my film Lady Bird it is used twice. First in a heartbroken, yearning moment of teenage pain. Then later it's used as the turning point when our heroine...declares her love for the song and what she actually cares about it life [sic]. It is impossible for me to imaginable this movie without it.
The song is pretty unmistakably about a voyeur looking in somebody's window and getting very carried away. The lyrics are skin-crawlingly bad in more than one way. Most who listened to the song probably didn't even notice. Toward the end of the track:
SpoilerShow
Oh and you come crash into me, baby
And I come into you
Hike up your skirt a little more and show the world to me
Hike up your skirt a little more and show your world to me
In a boys dream.. In a boys dream

Oh I watch you there through the window
And I stare at you
You wear nothing but you wear it so well
Tied up and twisted the way I'd like to be
For you, for me, come crash into me

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