One of the last Oscar-films of 2018 that I saw at the cinema. I'd been keen to see it for a while - the trailer looked interesting and the reviews sounded positive. I like Saoirse Ronan and having watched both Hanna and Brooklyn I know that she's well able to carry a film as a lead actress. Lady Bird garnered a lot of Oscars buzz, nominated in four of the "Big 5" categories (namely Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress - Laurie Metcalf, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture and Best Director - Greta Gerwig). Having seen the film, I came away with one big question.
|Lady Bird: patron saint of angsty teenagers|
I've checked out a few reviews in a vague attempt to try to understand the hype. On Rotten Tomatoes, it's rated at 99% positive from 311 reviews. The general consensus seems to be that it is an excellent film for teenage girls to see with their mothers (I guess in an attempt to reflect what they're seeing on the big screen with what's going on in their own relationship). So to that end, it's possible that I am not the ideal target audience - I am not a teenage girl, I am not a parent, and I have a perfectly good relationship with my mum (hi mum). Of the three people I saw the film with, it was most enjoyed by my 19 year old friend, who was most able to identify with Lady Bird. I have no criticism of some of the films accolades - Ronan and Metcalf are both interesting actors. Gerwig's direction is very much a love letter to her home town - a place that is by equal measures massive and tiny depending on who is looking at it, and when. The story had lots of interesting bits to it, though, rather than one good overarching narrative. I found myself wanting to reverse most of the way through the film, and go back to specific comments from specific characters about specific stories. I wanted to know why Shelley had come to live with the McPherson's and why Shelley found Marion to be such a good pseudo-mother. I wanted to know more about Danny and why he was struggling to come out. I wanted to know more about Father Leviatch and what his story was. I wanted to spend more time with all the different facets of Marion I saw. I wanted to know more about the relationship between Lady Bird's parents. The person I wasn't bothered about spending more time with was Lady Bird, which was unfortunate for me, really, because it was mainly about her. I was frustrated by her, she who wanted her unemployed father to remortgage their house so she could go to university. Not to do anything specific, because she had no real loves, passions, or academic skills. Just to go. She who was constantly rude to her best friend because she wasn't cool enough. She who kept rolling her eyes so hard I was concerned that she might crack her skull. I get that some of this is "teenager stuff", but I found it so difficult to take an interest in her. Is it that I can't empathise with teenagers? No - interesting teenagers can be found in both Mean Girls and Juno to quickly name two.
|All annoying teenagers, but still perfectly good film.|
Having watched the film less than a month ago, I'm already struggling to recall any particular scene from it. That can't be good. Fly away home, Lady Bird.
Additional thoughts, questions, comments:
- After also being Sheldon's mum in the Big Bang Theory, is Laurie Metcalf now typecast as "mum with difficult children".
- Is it just me? Am I now old and grumpy?