2017 has been a phenomenal year for indie movies. From Get Out, to Lady Bird, to Call me By Your Name, mainstream Hollywood has had a major breakthroughs with projects which have made a different kind of impact. Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut Lady Bird is the movie which has in a way defined the year for young Hollywood, especially owing to how fearless the movie is – with its disregard for the emotional mould which Hollywood demands.
The comedy drama starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet (who also stars in Call Me By Your Name), is essentially a coming-of-age film about a Catholic school teen and how she equates her self worth. The movie also delves deeper into modern relationships. The film had had an incredible festival run and is the only movie on Rotten Tomatoes with 100% positive reviews, and is garnering serious Oscar buzz.
What Greta Gerwig, The Director Says
“I didn’t go to film school. I really learned from watching people on sets,” Gerwig tells Entertainment Weekly. While prepping for Lady Bird, she called up filmmakers like Rebecca Miller, Mia Hansen-Love, and Wes Anderson, who she has worked with earlier, to take notes.
“I just put everything aside and I wrote at the top of the page – I don’t know where it came from – ‘Why won’t you call me Lady Bird? You promised that you would.’ And I looked at the sentence and I thought, ‘Who is this person?’ says Gerwig who scored a Golden Globe nomination for the film.
What the Lady Bird Cast Had to Say
Laurie Metcalf, who you might know as Sheldon Cooper’s mother in The Big Bang Theory, is also very likely an Oscar nod for her disappointed mom stint in Lady Bird. She, too, by the way, is bowled away by Gerwig’s directorial act. “I would have thought, if I’d just walked on the set, that she’d been doing this for years and years. The vibe she set was supportive and collaborative and calm and easy and funny and stress-free. I can’t think of an easier time that I’ve had working in film,” said the actor.
Saoirse, who blazed the screens as the non-conformist California teen as Lady Bird, also talks about the mother-child bond shown in the film – which was one of the film’s USPs. “So many friends of mine had relationships like that with their moms. This is the person you come from. They birthed you….” Says the actor whose film Brooklyn was a major Oscar favourite in 2016.
“Have you ever read [Simone de Beauvoir’s] ‘The Second Sex’? You know the way she talks about how, as babies, a mother and a woman’s body is comfort for all of us? But then you get older and start to rebel against that. You need your independence, but you also still want your comfort. It’s so complicated,” adds the 23-year-old actor.
Who is Lady Bird?
Lady Bird is a name a 17-year-old Christine gives herself in an effort to etch out her own identity. The film is one of the most well-made films of the decade – not because of how real it felt for the audiences but because at one point it did not feel like a film at all.
“Lady Bird is a film bursting with warmth, wit and melancholy that manages to seem fresh and unexpected despite the overly stacked nature of the subgenre. Gerwig displays no narcissism as someone sharing a version of her past or an aching desire to be hip as a young film-maker,” writes The Guardian critic Benjamin Lee. Gerwig, an actor herself obviously understands the limits of acting, also the powers. Not to mention, the early-2000 setting of the film is a millennial triumph, owing to the fact that this generation is still obsessed with the pre-iPhone era.
“I felt like the truth of growing up in Sacramento in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was, unless you knew the guy at the record store who had the offbeat taste and the cool record collection, you wouldn’t know some of the things that I think everybody takes for granted today,” adds Gerwig.
The raving applauses and the positive reviews do not make a film successful, but in Lady Bird’s case, the ratings have been legit. The film, no doubt is one of the best films made this year sans the Hollywood hangover and has set a new path for indie acceptance in Hollywood.