#RoadtoOscars: Lady Bird Review

When crafting a perfect movie, most of the time what is looked for consists of content that helps the viewer not only escape their life but appreciate it a little bit more. Now, when crafting a perfect movie worthy of winning an academy award, the need to depict a specific reality or topic becomes heightened, and although the act of going to the movies is to escape that which we are living in, this year’s Oscar-nominated films have decided to live in the past, appreciate it, and learn from it. Lady Bird, directed by best director nominee Greta Gerwig, travels back to post-9/11 in this Sacramento, California based film.

 

 

Greta Gerwig creates a narrative that depicts the angsty relationship one may tend to have with their mother while growing up and going through high school. The comedy-drama was released at the end of 2017, and it was well-received by many. It surrounds the life of Christine or “Lady Bird,” a teenage girl in her senior year of high school going through the oh-so-familiar stressors that come with being a senior: preparing for college.

Lady Bird is perhaps one of the most difficult characters I have encountered within this Oscar season. Be it, I have not seen all the Academy Award-nominated films, but within my batch, Christine is very particular. She is a character you do not agree with. You find yourself questioning at times why you are even rooting for her. A relationship is established between her and her mother, and then we slowly get introduced to how she relates to the rest of the people in her life. She is stubborn and her mom describes her as a snob. This bickering and back-and-forth arguing follows you as a viewer until the very end. While Gerwig has expressed that the film is only loosely based on her life, nothing in it actually happened to her. Most of what she is trying to convey is the core of the movie; its feelings and emotions that follow the protagonist from beginning to end that she has related to personally is what she wants to see make it through. 

 

 

Both Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf shine throughout this movie, and they are the solid foundation holding this movie up. The screenplay is well-elaborated, and the story carries out throughout the movie without being too cliché as it tackles very important topics and essential moments between characters—especially her first relationship with Lucas Hedges’ character Danny. There are countless tear-jerker scenes if you allow yourself to become fully invested in Lady Bird’s story and the stories of those around her.

Unfortunately, there are some loose ends in the film that would have made it better as a whole if it had all been tied up and resolved; such as, what exactly did Father Leviatch not want Mrs. McPherson to tell Christine? However, the ending was best left open. You do see Christine’s growth as a character, and although you might disagree with her decisions and very self, she recognizes where she went wrong. What is left is hope that things will get better for her from here on out because continuing on the way she was throughout the movie will get her nowhere.

 

 

Is it Oscar worthy? Yes, it is. Does it deserve to be Best Picture? Perhaps. It was one of my favorites this Oscar season. The movie does have a steady base work that makes it worth being a nominated film, and it has already won Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) at the 75th Golden Globes. It is understood that being a high school film it does have its limitations, and it could have been better. Even so, that is actually what makes this movie stand out. The story is centered in one specific location which becomes more than a backdrop but an antagonist for Lady Bird. Her self-declared indifference towards Sacramento, her lifestyle, and her relationships build this movie up.

 

 

Lady Bird has 5 nominations for this Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards, and those are: Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress, and of course Best Picture.

 

Image credits: 1, 2, 3 & 4.