One of my favorite films of all time is "Lady Bird," which is directed and written by Greta Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird herself. The movie came out about a year ago, so it is not exactly new, but I have seen it multiple times and even as I watch it now it still is deeply emotionally stirring.
The plot of the movie itself may seem trite and unoriginal, it has been done so many times, after all, the story of a girl moving through her final year of high school and preparing to leave for college. However, the film is entirely unique and moving.
Every time I watch "Lady Bird" I notice some other minor detail that contributes to the quality of the movie even more, and no matter where I am at in life I still relate to it on a deep level. The first time I watched it I was going through the same things Lady Bird goes through in her final year of high school and in preparing for college, so I felt a strong connection to the movie then.
However, I watched it yesterday and I still relate to it on a deeply personal level even as I am past where Lady Bird is at the end of the film as I finish my first semester of college. After finishing watching the movie for say, the 4th time, I sat speechless once again pondering what exactly about this move is so touching to me at my utmost emotional core.
Part of what makes the film so good is how genuine the script and the acting are. None of the characters are caricatures of people, as typical of ordinary high school comedy movies. They all come across as if they were real people, no one completely happy or morally good and no one completely depressed or bad.
What also contributes greatly to the film is how Gerwig features shots of seemingly mundane moments that only contribute to the authenticity of the movie. For example, throughout the movie, Lady Bird has a pink cast on, and perhaps in a standard movie, the cast would suddenly disappear without any explanation. However, in "Lady Bird" there is a short scene where they quickly show her getting her cast cut off. This may seem pointless, but this mundane moment actually adds to the realness of the film. It shows that life consists not only of big events but of small seemingly pointless ones as well.
The movie also has an underlying thread of depression that contributes to its effectiveness. Multiple characters, including Lady Bird's dad and her best friend, have moments of despondent depression. As Lady Bird's friend says, "Some people aren't built happy." I think this is especially true of life as well, there are always going to be underlying feelings of perhaps sadness and hopelessness, but there will always be one's family and friends to rely on.
But what has made this movie so relatable to me in my current state is watching the change Lady Bird experiences throughout the film. She grows from a teenager still hooked on what does and does not matter in high school to a young woman in college who finally understands her mom and the world around her a little more.
I feel as if this change in Lady Bird reflects the change I have felt in myself over my first college semester and especially now at the end. I have lost my first love, but I know I will love again and I still have a good friend. I have so much of my life ahead of me, and so much more to experience. I feel as if I have grown slightly above trivial childish dramas and issues. There is a lot more in my life that matters more, mainly my family and friends, and I feel as if I understand people and the world more than I have before.