Lady Bird (2017) Review

Lady Bird (2017)

Directed & Written by Greta Gerwig

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Lois Smith

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, it is a coming-of-age story of a high-school senior (Ronan) and her turbulent relationship with her mother (Metcalf).

My Opinion:

I enjoyed this. It’s indie, though, so I had to go to a fancy, snobby cinema to actually be able to see it. There were sofas & fucking cushions. People had tea delivered to them. I don’t drink tea. I just wanted to stuff my face with popcorn. So I just sat there hungry instead (but comfy!).

Here’s a funny thing: I sat next to what appeared to be a grandmother with her 20-something granddaughter. They were talking about films (Yay! My kind of people) and the grandmother was talking about drive-ins and what they’re like in America. She told the granddaughter she needs to go to America sometime. The girl scoffed & said “Ha. No thanks! I’m alright. Not at the moment!“. I smiled to myself. Ahh… My home country is well & truly fucked. British people used to dream of visiting America. Now the thought of going there seems insane and potentially dangerous. What the fuck has happened? You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Shall I actually talk about this movie, which is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay? Does it deserve all the acclaim? Hmm. Yes & no. Maybe in the acting categories, at least. It’s a good coming of age film, a subgenre I love, but it’s not the absolute best of its kind that I’ve seen. I probably slightly preferred the previous  year’s The Edge Of Seventeen. Where were the nominations for that female-directed & written film??

The Oscars are going to get more interesting now & I’m very glad that they’re going to be more inclusive. But……. I dunno. Should Lady Bird be up for Best Picture & Director? I’m not sure about that but I don’t mind seeing it nominated for Best Picture. Lady Bird & Get Out do look like the odd ones out when looking at the more heavyweight nominees but not all movies have to be boring, heavy dramas to be good films. What I really want to see is the Oscars being more inclusive of ALL genres of films, regardless of who made them. A good movie is a good movie. The Oscars have always hated things like fantasy, science fiction, comedy, and horror. Brilliant films seem to be ignored if they’re not some boring ass historical drama that the majority of the public has no interest in seeing. The nominee I’m happiest about this year is The Shape Of Water. That’s slightly out of the Academy’s comfort zone. I want more stuff like that at the Oscars! Now if they can just accept science fiction… Arrival only getting ONE Oscar (Sound Editing) is a damn crime!!! Screw you, Academy!

Back to Lady Bird. I loved the tumultuous relationship between mother & daughter (Saoirse Ronan & Laurie Metcalf, both deserving of their nominations). Being both a mother & a daughter, I can confirm that it can be a complicated relationship at times & the film makes these characters feel real in their feelings & behavior. I’d have actually liked it to focus even more on the mother/daughter relationship than it did. I’d have liked slightly more time spent on Lady Bird’s relationships with her whole family, but the film does well with the character development in its hour & a half running time.

We get to see a lot of Lady Bird’s life at school with her best friend and with a couple of love interests. I loved her best friend (Beanie Feldstein). It made me wish I’d had a female friend in high school! But I went to school with a bunch of bitches. Lucas Hedges, from Manchester By The Sea, did well but there’s not a lot of time spent on him. And I finally got to see this Timothée Chalamet kid in a movie. He’s fine – it’s not a huge role and he’s an annoying rich boy so I’ll need to see him in more stuff. I still badly want to see Call Me By Your Name. Saoirse Ronan is the star of this, though, and I’m amazed that I never thought about the fact that she does NOT sound American in real life, so she must have done the accent well! Ronan & Metcalf make this film better. Without them, I’d have found it pretty average. But I kept hearing Andy’s mother from Toy Story… She didn’t have this much trouble with Andy!

Lady Bird is good but it’s indie and it’s definitely aimed more at females and at teenagers. Is it All-Time-Greatest-Best-Picture material? Not really. I’ve seen other coming of age films more worthy of Oscar nominations but I’m glad the Academy, through recognizing a wider variety of filmmakers, is probably going to end up giving us more variety in the film genres that receive nominations. Not all movies have to be The English Freaking Patient. (Lady Bird is far better than that one…)

My Rating: 7/10

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Uncle Buck (1989) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, once again, from my BFF Eric of The IPC (although I’m thinking of finding a new BFF after this review. any takers??). 😉 Kidding, Eric! Thanks again for agreeing to watch all these movies that don’t contain blood or guts or (many) boobs! Now let’s read Eric’s thoughts on Uncle Buck… 🙂 😦

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UNCLE BUCK

In the story of my life, one thing is certainly true: it never fails that I’ll be sitting somewhere, minding my own business, trying to do a good job and not bother anyone and I’ll get yelled at… Whether I was a kid sitting all alone in my room reading comics or playing with my toys, unsuspectingly, my mom would bust into my room and scream at me for something I didn’t know or remember that I did. Or when the co-worker across the hall gets mat at people on HER team – I get yelled at. Or old girlfriends… I’d just be sitting there, watching TV or something and BLAMMO!!! Screamed at. I’ve never understood. “Why do you bother us with this bullshit again, Isaacs???” you scream. Because, just this morning, I was sitting here in my office, eating some cantaloupe from the Hippie grocery store I go to now when I got this email from Cinema Parrot Disco. (The replies are clipped to take up less space).

CPD: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SEND ME UNCLE BUCK???!!!??
IPC: Uhhhh… oh shit!! I forgot!! I totally suck!
CPD: SEND IT OVER YOU STUPID FUCK!!!
IPC: Um, well, I can tr-
CPD: OR YOU’RE OUT OF FUCKING LUCK!!!!
IPC: I’ll do m-
CPD: ALL I HEAR IS “CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK”!!!!!
IPC: What ar-
CPD: JUST. GET. OFF. YOUR. ASS.

Of course, that didn’t happen…. right…. right…..

*crickets*

So I rented it up and dodged some meetings and gave it a watch. Now – I’ve seen this before, when it came out in the theater and I remember it being funny so I had high hopes. Oh yeah – who hasn’t seen this? There’s no point in going into a deep plot synopsis because everyone knows about this one. A loud, obnoxious, unemployed fat dude goes to babysit his brother’s kids when he has to go out of town unexpectedly. Hilarity and hi-jinks ensue!! Right?? Right??

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I started it up and was not really enjoying the 1989-ness of it. The dialogue was kind of dopey and forced and the clothing and hairdos…. UGH. Oh – and McCauley Culkin…

And then… at around 30 minutes in, I started to get really bored… so I kind of stopped watching and just did some listening and twirled around in my chair looking for something in my office to entertain me…

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Not there….

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Nope… so then I started taking notes in case I got too bored and might forget what the hell was going on.

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And then that got boring so I made one last note, went outside for some fresh air and then came back resolved to finish this fucker.

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And finish it I did. And I don’t think I laughed once. Not even the Uncle Buck dancing part. The two youngest kids were too sappy and honey drippy cutesy, Uncle Buck was an obnoxious burden of a man, I HATED the teenager, I hated “Bug” and I hated the big warm’n-happy ending. I was slightly amused again when he had to go piss at the elementary school and he was to big for the urinals but that passed quickly. I think I liked this about as much as Zoe liked Ferris… which is Not Much. It’s not SHITFEST worthy but…. YEESH what a bore. Oh well….

THANKS FOR HAVING ME OVER ALL THOSE TIMES MUTANT!! Your blogathon has been EPIC!!
Internet hugs!!

BYE!!!

Love,

Eric

P.S. In the opening, if you can’t read my shitty handwriting… WHY was the dog in the closed clothes dryer when the kids got home from school???? Is that where he sleeps during the day?? Does he see the kids off to school and then slip into the laundry room, open the dryer with his finger and thumb and then close it when he’s in???

Also – if Uncle Buck has to microwave Maizy’s socks because he can’t open the washing machine… couldn’t he just stick them in the dryer?? Even the dog can open the dryer.

P.P.S. In that scene where Culkin is looking through the mail slot trying to see who’s ringing the bell and he sees those three dudes looking back at him. Is that supposed to be some reference to or foreshadowing for that Home Alone movie?