And since I like to develop my own
pretentious opinions about movies, I decided to start with the movie I’m hearing about EVERYWHERE: Lady Bird.
Lady Bird won the Best Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, Saoirse Ronan won for Best actress in a musical or comedy, and they had a bunch of other nominations. And because The Oscars are the EXACT SAME THING as the Golden Globes (plus TV), Lady Bird is nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), Best Director (Greta Gerwig) and Best Original Screen play (Great Gerwig).
I LOVE Saoirse Ronan. Not only am I very good at saying her name but we got to talk to her a few years ago because, since Everything Goes Back to Twilight, she was in Stephenie Meyer’s The Host:
Saoirse Ronan is the anti-Kristen Stewart for me. She’s got an amazing head on her shoulders, is a great actor, has done consistent high-qualify films, is so fun to watch and has an Irish accent. That last one doesn’t matter, but I thought I’d throw it in there anyway.
Here’s the thing: I didn’t Love Lady Bird.
Lady Bird follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) through her last year of high school in Sacramento, CA as she deals with first love, first sexual experiences, changing friendships and a tumultuous relationship with her strong-willed mother (Laurie Metcalf).
Taking place in 2002, Lady Bird is a very realistic coming-of-age story, and one I could relate to as I am not much older than Lady Bird (I graduated high school in 2001). It felt very early 2000s, post Y2K (lol remember that); very “I hate this town I grew up in”; very relatable to anyone who has, well, grown up, really.
So why didn’t I love it?
I wanted to. Saoirse was amazing as Christine, and I can see why she got the nominations she did (though I preferred her performance in 2015’s Brooklyn). She was likable and unlikeable all in one, pretty typical of a 18 year old about the leave home for the first time. Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother, Marion (played by Laurie Metcalf) was broken, complicated, beautiful, loving and incredibly frustrating.
And maybe that second part is why I didn’t love the film. Marion McPherson was complicated. Very. And somewhat abusive. Or maybe completely abusive. No doubt her daughter knew how to push her buttons, but she was the MOTHER. She should be better. And she’s not.
This movie was realistic- probably too much so for some people with very flawed relationships with their mothers. And I don’t need my movies to make me feel good about life or people. I like seeing the flaws. In that it was very relatable is what makes it an Oscar contender this year.
But the movie didn’t give me the “THIS IS MOST DEFINITELY WORTH ALL THE HYPE” feels I wanted it to going into it.
Saoirse Ronan was incredible. Laurie Metcalf was incredible. The fact that the writer director Greta Gerwig is nominated for both Best Director and Best Original Screen Play is incredible. This movie is full of strong women, and I am totally on board with that.
But Lady Bird doesn’t get Best Picture for me.
(Confession: I haven’t seen any of the other Best Picture films (yet), so if we’re voting Best Picture Bekah has seen from the Best Picture list…. I guess Lady Bird wins!)