I have watched the Lady Bird trailer at least twice a week for the past 2 months. After swiping a hefty bunch of award nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Pciture, there’s been a buzz surrounding this film for some time now. Safe to say this attention has not come undeserved.
Writer-director of Lady Bird Greta Gerwig described the character as the person she wished she could have been at that age. I think this stands true for many young women. Ladybird is a vibrant character overflowing with feeling and wit. At many points in the film I found myself identifying with her experiences and emotions, however she also did embody for me, like Gerwig, many of the characteristics I feel like I could have benefitted from having at her age. Lady Bird stands as a fantastic role model to teenage women.
One of the things I loved most about Lady Bird was that it focussed on important relationships young women have that are so often ignored in coming-of-age films in order to make way for yet another Bland Boy Love Interest™. Lady Bird’s relationships with her parents and best friend Julie felt so incredibly genuine, exposing the flaws that are even found in loving relationships as close as theirs whilst still conveying those moments of absolute joy a good pal can provide you with.
Not only were the relationships Gerwig crafted in Lady Bird beautiful, its filming was too. Never has Sacramento looked to beautiful. It was interesting watching a film set in 2002, it feels slightly too recent to really count as setting a film in “the past”. But seeing characters with their perfectly dated cassette players and mobile phones really drove home to me how much has changed in 16 years. The film’s warm colour palette also contributed to its felling of almost-nostalgia.
As you can imagine, after having such high expectations for this film I was a bit frightened that Lady Bird wouldn’t live up to the film I had payed it up to be in my head. Luckily, it was. In fact it surpassed any expectations I’d had. It was about all the things I wish the films I watched as a teenager had been about, and the things I hope more films will be about in the future.