Welcome to Movie Moments, where I lay down my impressions from a recently watched movie.
Todays movie is Lady Bird!
I rather enjoyed Boyhood a few years ago, so since Lady Bird was described as similar but more relatable, (also the trailer looked good and the film did win a plethora of awards) I decided to give it a go, and found the movie to be delightfully insightful and one of a kind for many reasons.
These are my favourite Movie Moments from Lady Bird:
The awkward realism of it all. It’s basically a coming of age story, so Christine a.k.a. Lady Bird, who is mildly rebelling and going through the usual steps puberty: Discovering boys, trying to be one of the cool kids, drinking, smoking cigarettes, and having other kinds of adult-like experiences.
All of the abovementioned situations are constructed quite realistically, without the overdone high school teen comedy or drama aspects of lesser movies, without idealization and hyperboles. The characters are not really likeable, not special, yet somehow very relatable and empathy-inducing. Well done.
The gay of it all. A close friend of Christines turns out to be gay. It’s not made into a big thing on its own because its completely normal to have a gay person in your social circle grow into realizing things about himself during high school. The point of this non-issue still being played up as an issue in movies, while it should be just normal, has come across superbly in Lady Bird. All the while taking a supportive position, obviously.
The how-to adulting. While I feel like it’s quite the stereotype what they’ve done with the adult characters (sassy nun teacher feels like a parody of someone, I can’t say who we’re talking about though, and sometimes mama bird reminds me of Tracy’s mum from Thirteen, although there are no radical body modifications, drugs or violence in this movie), they show a lot of adult struggles alongside Lady Birds own search of self. Some of it is kind of thrown in there (the father character has a whole own story but it’s just hinted at, his role in the movie ist just to support his daugters becoming), however adult struggles like the whole aspect of being poor and juggling jobs, dealing with lifelong depression in your forties of fifties, and of course being able to communicate with one’s children.
Yes, there are some criticisms towards church and some showing of nudity which could be considered controversial (the movie was altered in Australia which I find weirdly random), but in my opinion only a small-town person like Lady Birds character would lose sleep over something like this. I don’t wanna spoil you but if you know what I’m talking about, do let me know what you think.
The loving soul of it all. Yes, it’s a coming of age story and Christine does smoke a cigarette or two, break a few things and yell at her mother, but first and foremost it is a story about a mother and a daughter as two complicated women who ultimately love each other, the story being them finding their way to recognizing that they are loved back.
Marion has made efforts to get to a point in her life where che can provide for her own, so for her daughter to be able to fathom the price of her comforts is a key point in the movie – and even although Christine kind of always knows about it, she doesn’t really realize it because she is so preoccupied with the notion that her mother doesn’t like her. (Thankfully she gains a little more insight later on, but this is something she loses sympathy points on early in the movie.)
What I didn’t like is the somewhat overplayed comedical aspect of the movie – just a notch too much for my taste. It’s good to laugh about life and to find the funny in hard times, but the overall loving and accepting tone of every character makes it a little too fluff for my taste. Yes, there is an ongoing critique in all dialogues between mother and daughter, and there is constant sense of self-doubt in Lady Bird herself, although she seems quite put together and tough overall – but there is no real point of crisis. Conflicts are solved rather easily. More depth could have been added to some of them.
Oh, and – side eye: the supposed mean cheerleader and cool girl actually being a person and a nice person on top of that? What do we think about that? I’m undecided.
All in all, Lady Bird is a mostly well made coming of age story, which solves it’s problems in an adult way and actually focuses on real humans with feelings rather than extreme reactions on ridiculous situations. Attention has been payed to detail, something many big movies miss these days. Not only in its niche but in general, Lady Bird is one among few stories told in a way that fills its viewers‘ hearts, but also respects their intellect.
What were some of your favourite movies last year?