Hola Dannie aqui,
Introducing our new spy Freddy Beans and his review of Lady Bird! Read on!
Hey Everyone, Freddy Beans here. I head out of the Sacramento area, yes, the water-basin that is smack dab in the middle of California. There’s a certain feeling here I find a lot of my neighbors/friends/coworkers where they really don’t’ want to move out beyond Sacramento’s borders. I’m not sure if that’s specific to the area or we all feel that in our respective homelands, hah. Either way its’ captured perfectly in the movie I saw last night.
Since I’m based here it seemed appropriate to make my first review for AICN the highly regarded and much talked about “Lady Bird” directed by Greta Gerwig in her sophomore effort after “Nights and Weekends” a 2008 flick I’ve never heard of before, but will absolutely be seeking out after digesting “Lady Bird.”
This one starts out with 17-year-old Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson and her mom (Laurie Metcalf) Marion driving down a long one lane road surrounded by yellow grain on both sides. They’re enjoying an audiotape together and when it ends have confliction as to what is an appropriate response after it was over. This boils into a fight and Christine ‘Lady Bird” McPherson launches herself out of the car, and we’re as suddenly, launched into a wonderful film that skips to its own beat.
The story centers on Christina (Saoirse Ronan), she’s your typical 17-year-old, growing up in white suburbia rebelling at every turn, with or without her best friend Julie Steffans (Beanie Feldstein), fighting with her mom, boy-hungry, growing up under restricted Catholic school rule, except she’s not typical at all. She’s a rebel through and through and I loved watching her growth in this coming to age film. I can tell you, from the shots in this film, that she grows up in the East Sacramento area. The cinematography in this film is great and iconic for a local, from Gunther’s ice cream (So fucking good), Tower Movie Theater sign nestled in a dimly lit sky, the riverfront facing the Tower Bridge at night, one of the many Sacramento bridges showcased in the film. I don’t remember what the school name in the movie is, but I’m pretty sure in real life its St. Mary’s Catholic school, where Lady Bird introduces herself and her freshly broken arm from that earlier failed attempt to fly out of the car with her mom. She corrects the name written on a cork board from Christina to “Lady Bird”, in a comic exchange between her and her friend Julie. This relationship is one of the key ones for both of their growth, in the so fast you’ll miss it 94-minute film. Saoirse Ronan who plays Lady Bird is an absolute gem, I can’t wait to see what this woman does next. She owns this character and all her nuances and idiosyncrasies. The girls both get boyfriends and lose them in one hilarious scene ending with them singing and crying to the Dave Matthews Band.
Lady Bird starts very much like a 2017 film showing a 2002 version of Pretty In Pink, with a prom seeming to be a centerpiece of the film, but this is a much deeper movie. Lady Bird deal’s with deeper topics like anxiety and depression as she tries to get a part in the school play with different middling results. This isn’t a downer film at all however, it’s quite uplifting, and has a wondrous spirit right beneath any of the more brutally honest scenes, my favorite being the fight she has with her mom in the thrift store, so refreshingly honest, this is a real fight, with silences and cussing, more films and stories should bare themselves like this writer has.
While this movie centers on Lady Bird, one of her main storylines is on her and her mother’s relationship. This has to be the best role I’ve ever seen Laurie Metcalf in, she’s absolutely perfect as the torn wife and mother, working paycheck to paycheck unsure of how her family will afford groceries and unsure of how to parent, like most of us parents truly are (sorry for the revelation kiddos)
Marion’s relationship with her daughter also feels like the most honest reflection of a mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen committed to celluloid. They yell, they fight, they love one another clearly and makeup, and they both root for the other in their mutually small worlds.
This movie is rated “R” for what I’m assuming is some mild cuss words, I sure didn’t’ see any nudity or gore. Nothing that I feel gives it an earned R rating, but these are pretty sensitive times out here, hah. I’m pretty liberal when it comes to films as you’re going to find out
I can’t recommend Lady Bird enough to all viewers across all ages, but especially anyone out of Sacramento just for the great shots of our city in it. I wanted to be the first to tell you this movie was meh, especially being a middle-aged man, who prides himself on having a unique outlook on all subjects, but I can’t lie, this movie was refreshing and kept me entertained to the very end. Don’t be a pussy, go see this one, it’s going to surprise you, and make you laugh while warming your heart. While I tend to lean the darker horror movie route I will buy this one on Blue Ray when it comes out, but then again, I’m biased, it’s got so many great shots of a city I have grown to love, just as Lady Bird does in this film. Go Sactown!!
9.5 out of 10
(people agree there ain’t shit to do in Sacramento J)
Til next time Kids
Thanks for the great review Freddy Beans, loved getting a local's perspective, and welcome to the AICN crew we look forward to reading more from ya!
Stay Strong, Live Good, Love Movies!
Dannie aka Pekosa Peligrosa