If it seems like I’m not reviewing any “bad” movies lately, that’s because I’m trying as hard as I can to see as many critically acclaimed movies as possible. This is so that I can make my Best of 2017 list as thorough as possible.
Frankly, I have enough entries in my Worst of 2017 list to make it a sufficient article. So throwing in my thoughts on the likes of “The Snowman” and “Geostorm” sounds really boring an pointless to me.
So instead I saw Lady Bird, and it was really good.
Lady Bird is a quintessential coming-of-age story of a catholic high school girl. The girl, who calls herself “Lady Bird”, is somehow both absolutely sure and unsure of her identity at the same time. This paired with her charming, awkward personality really made this a charming film.
Saoirse Ronan is excellent as Lady Bird, and she is thoroughly watchable from start to finish. It was interesting to me how easy it was to care about her, even though she occasionally does stuff that is wholly unlikable.
All of the other characters in the film do really well in their roles, and yes that even includes Lucas Hedges. Considering I made it a point to lightly criticize him in his roles in Manchester by the Sea and Three Billboards, I figured it’d be worth mentioning that I really didn’t have any problem with him in this movie.
Lady Bird is a really odd movie to talk about because the film seems to be simultaneously focused and unfocused. The reason for this is that the film is about Lady Bird trying to find herself. Hence, since she is constantly trying to switch around her values and personality in order to find herself, this one-track-focus seems to go all over the place.
And what I really enjoyed about this movie is how profound the film seems to be about how that usually plays out; the girl is constantly trying to search for things that give her more happiness and more meaning, and for many of these attempts, she doesn’t find what she’s looking for.
I’ve never seen such a cheery movie be so sad at the same time. It’s not just quintessential to the American teenage experience, but human existence generally.
The biggest problems I had with this movie are with things like the soundtrack and the cinematography. Neither of them are necessarily bad, but I cannot remember any music or any camera shots no matter how hard I try. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does prevent the movie from truly sticking out.
I mean, aside from Saoirse Ronan’s fantastic performance, and how rigid her relationship was with her mother Laurie Metcalf, there’s nothing in this film that truly brought it to the top for me.
There’s so many thematic pots that the movie tries to stick its hand in that it never truly makes one theme stick out.
That’s not to say that this makes Lady Bird a bad movie; it’s to say that it prevented itself from being truly exceptional. But I get why lots of people loved this movie, and I get why everybody loved Saoirse Ronan’s performance. If she won the Oscar for best actress, I would not be upset (I’m still rooting for Francis Mcdormand though, because she was better).
Anyway, go see Lady Bird. It fantastically captures awkward teenage angst and uncertainty, and it very subtly paints a picture of just how empty a search for meaning can be through a nihilistic, secular lens.