Lady Bird and Why It’s Such an Iconic Film
Writer: Marissa Gilliard
Lady Bird is a film that has been the talk of award season. Although, it won no oscars it marked the only FIFTH time in history a woman was nominated for best director. You’ve probably seen a lot of articles talking about how impactful this film is, but I truly believe this movie stands for so much, for me an aspiring woman filmmaker and for every other woman in America.
The movie is set in Sacramento in 2002. It is about a senior at a catholic high school named Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. It was rumored that director Greta Gerwig based the film off her own life. She said parts were, but the rest was a person she would have loved to be as a teenager. She did however say, the part when Lady Bird rolls out of the car that was true. The movie though touches on so much more than just the life of a senior in high school. It touches on the families money issues and whether or not she goes to an in state college or an out of state school. I feel like many people in my age group can relate to that, due to the fact we are kids of the recession. The movie touches briefly on mental illness, religion, when you think your in love at 17, and the biggest one a mother daughter relationship.
(Courtesy of A24)
What sets Lady Bird apart from other coming of age films, is that there isn’t just one guy who she falls in love with and dates at the end. No, (and I’m going to give some spoilers) she dates two boys and neither one works out. Gerwig did this because she believes it’s more realistic to show how teenagers are. I couldn’t agree more and it is refreshing to see a film do this in two very realistic ways. The mother daughter relationship is the main focus in this film. I love the concept of one person’s coming of age, is another person’s letting go. It is truly beautiful and I feel many mothers and daughters can relate. The ending scene in my opinion, is one of the most beautifully edited, beautifully shot, and has so much emotional depth. Even if you have no interest in this movie at all (which you should) and want to be a filmmaker, just watch that part and you will understand how exquisite it is. The cinematography is truly amazing, and Gerwig herself said she wanted it to look like a memory. When film looks kinda bluish and old in the editing process, that personally is my favorite technique in editing. Lady Bird gives that amazing nostalgic feel with its cinematography.
Why I relate to this film, is because I see a lot of who I was at 17 and 18 in Lady Bird. I enjoyed theater, I got into many fights with my parents about college, I desperately wanted to leave my hometown, I wore my heart on my sleeve and wanted boys to desperately like me. When I was upset, my friends and I would go in my car and talk about our boy problems and cry to one of my many pop punk CDs (Dave Matthews was not in my collection). I dyed my hair weird colors and experienced a lot of firsts those years. I always say, 17 and 18 years old are the years you learn the most about yourself and you are becoming the person your going to be. I think Greta Gerwig captured this amazingly. I feel like so many women (and men) can relate to this time period in their life. Many famous actresses told Greta, that they have been waiting years for a movie like this. This film portrayed women in a real and relatable light.
I have wanted to be a filmmaker since I was 10. I used to write little plays and would make up little skits. I have always been a fan of movies with strong female leads and a sense of girl power. My favorite kind of films are coming of age stories. I also love any film I can relate to, and have been working on an idea for years based on my life experiences. Lady Bird in my opinion is one of the best films I have seen in years. I hope this film inspires other women to tell their stories, because with every thing going on in Hollywood, we need more women filmmakers and directors, and raise that Oscar count to more than 5. Gerwig has said, that she hopes Lady Bird inspires women to go out and make their movie, which I completely agree with. I hope that one day I can have a movie or television show as impactful as Lady Bird, and some young girl goes that’s awesome I want to do that. Because it’s a chain reaction. This is a movie I believe that will be a cult classic. It may not have won an Oscar, but it has left a lasting impact on the women who have viewed it. It has helped me fall back in love with the art of filmmaking.