'Lady Bird' Is My Favorite Movie of 2017
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'Lady Bird' Is My Favorite Movie of 2017

“Lady Bird” is a masterful work that includes relatable themes and excellent performances.

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'Lady Bird' Is My Favorite Movie of 2017
Youtube | A24

Yes, my absolute favorite movie of 2017 is “Lady Bird.” I absolutely adore this movie for so many reasons, and, for me, it was one of those films where I found myself struggling to find things that were wrong with it, no matter how hard I tried to nitpick.

“Lady Bird” features the directorial debut of Gretta Gerwig, and stars many excellent up-and-coming actors including Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Timothée Chalamet, Lucas Hedges, and Odeya Rush. The performances in this film are astounding, especially from Ronan and Metcalf. One theme that Lady Bird presents is the relationship between a child and her parents, one that becomes especially tough due to the perceived overwhelming expectations set before her.

Ronan and Metcalf have an implicit chemistry on screen that makes them both look like a quarreling mother and daughter, resulting in one of the best mother-daughter relationships, I believe, in film history. Saoirse picked up the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and I would be incredibly surprised if she doesn’t pick up an Academy Award nomination as well.

Whether or not she wins that award is anyone’s guess due to outstanding performances from Meryl Streep and Frances McDormand in The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri respectively. Laurie Metcalf also received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Marion McPherson, but was beat out by Allison Janney from I, Tonya. I can’t say enough about the performances in this film, all of the actors are brilliantly cast, and I applaud Gerwig for finding the right actors to fulfill her vision.

Saoirse Ronan as Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson, A24

It’s not just the performances that make this film great, however, but one of the most underrated aspects of this film is the cinematography. I’ve said this in the past about a few films, but one “flag” (so to speak) that a movie is shot well is when you subconsciously sit back and just admire the shot.

There’s a scene where our protagonist, Lady Bird, is at a school dance with her sweetheart, and you see a dark gymnasium, barely illuminated with multitudes of candles. The ambiance of the whole scene made me just sit back, and not only admire the film itself, but the art of filmmaking as a whole. Though Lady Bird probably won’t get nominated for Cinematography, I loved how this film was shot.

One element of these “art” films that remains constant is their relatability to the human condition. A theme that Lady Bird repeatedly mentions is home. Throughout the movie, Christine wishes that she could just leave home, to the point where she writes about how much she despises it in her college essay, yet her teacher believes it to be an affectionate story of her time there.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Near the end, once Christine moves off to college, she realizes how much she truly misses home and her parents who she once thought were so overbearing. This sends audiences the main message of the film: we shouldn’t be so quick to leave home and those we love because we’ll miss them in the end.

SPOILERS END HERE

Another theme that Gerwig’s story conveys is that of self-identity, how we perceive ourselves, and how we want others to see us. Christine lives in a house that is much too small and is relatively incomparable to the houses that her private school classmates have. Later on in the film, Christine lies to one of her wealthier friends saying she lives in a bigger house, but when caught in the lie, her friend asks “Why would anyone lie about that?” This message really hits home because I understood this plot point as a commentary on how society views possessions and house size as grounds to judge a person on.

Christine, not wanting to be looked down upon, says she has a much bigger house than she actually does, but is almost instantly negatively judged when caught simply because she wanted to hide her parent’s economic status.

This isn’t the only sign of this theme. From the second act to the middle of the third act, Christine desperately wants to be included in the popular crowd at school, to a point at which she compromises her best friendship with a less popular girl, and forgoes certain virtues that she held dearly, something many teens, including myself, have struggled with.

One reason I believe this movie has received so much praise is that it speaks volumes to real issues that teens face on a daily basis, but these issues aren’t just generational. Adults can also relate to these struggles as they never seem to go away, and we’ve certainly seen films that provide commentary on such struggles such as Rebel Without A Cause or American Graffiti.

Another component of this film that sets it apart from others is its uniqueness in terms of relationships. I already spoke highly of the mother-daughter relationship throughout the film, but one relationship I find rather interesting is the one between Christine and her drama teacher, who is a relatively minor character.

During the first act, we see the drama teacher crying, confiding in Christine’s mom (who is a nurse) about his presumed depression. Gerwig specifically includes this scene to show us that the world turns outside of our protagonist’s life. In so many films, we see the whole universe be centered around our main characters, but in Lady Bird, things happen that don’t necessarily pertain to Christine, giving off a sense of realism to the film.

Overall, I absolutely adore Lady Bird, so much so that I’d go as far to say that it deserves Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It’s my favorite film of 2017, and I’d recommend that everyone see this film. It’s a classic.

IS IT WORTH IT?

“Lady Bird” is a masterful work that includes relatable themes, excellent performances, and provides a uniqueness that I believe no other film in 2017 as matched, and for that, it deserves Best Picture.

FINAL SCORE: 9.7/10

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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