Posts tagged #greta gerwig

Lady Bird the Best Movie of 2017

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The recently released movie 'Lady Bird' is a delightful coming-of-age movie that I can't recommend highly enough. I actually saw it during the Toronto International Film Festival at the end of the summer with my entire family; my husband, two grown daughters (19 & 24) and my 21-year-old son - and we all adored it, which is really saying something.  

It is a refreshing tale of a strong-willed, though slightly confused and sometimes misguided  young woman played with startling depth and compassion by Saoirse Ronan.

Question - isn't every teenager confused and misguided? Isn't that why coming-of-age tales are verdant terrain for literature and movies? For this reason, we can empathize and relate and generally wish for a positive outcome as we were all once in that difficult stage between childhood and adulthood.

Lady Bird* is the name that the main character has given herself for no explicable reason except her given name of Christine McPherson seems too normal and lame to embody her wild and willful persona. 

Greta Gerwig wrote the screenplay and this is her first foray into directing a feature film. Previously she has written and produced Mistress America and acted in Maggie's Plan and 20th Century Women among others. She should be immensely proud and consider this charming picture a total triumph. I'm not the only one who thinks so. The movie has scored 100% from RottenTomatoes critics and 91% from audience members. 

The setting is Sacramento, California circa 2002 and main plot points revolve around Lady Bird's relationships; with her friends and family but mostly with herself, as she struggles to complete her last year of high school and create a future for herself that excites her. 

Lady Bird and her mother (as played by Laurie Metcalfe) have a fractious relationship.

Lady Bird and her mother (as played by Laurie Metcalfe) have a fractious relationship.

The movie opened this past weekend in limited release and will roll out in more theatres  over the next little while. According to Jezebel, it broke box office records and that fills my heart with hope that maybe Hollywood is finally realizing that female centric movies, and those made by women, are not only good for the soul but also good for business as they appeal to so many of us eager for some portrayals of women as fully rounded and capable humans.

Here's an empowering quote from Ms. Gerwig in the current Bust magazine on whose cover she graces.

"I like writing about women in relation to other women -  mothers and daughters, friends, sisters, mentors, employees and employers, et cetera - because men don't know what women do when they aren't there. These are powerful, complicated, rich relationships that deserve their own place in the collection of stories we tell ourselves about what it means to be human ." 

We are not powerless and oftentimes our power lies in our wallet.  I encourage you to spend your precious time and money on this sweet movie experience. If you like movies and stories that are heavy on character and truth and humour, I can confidently say you will enjoy this little gem. 

*Have you ever given yourself a different name? If you have, what is it, and if you haven't but did, what would it be? Mine is groovymamma. 

Gentle, Happy but Casual - "Menstruation"

This weekend my daughter and I went to see the movie '20th Century Women' starring Annette Bening, Greata Gerwig and Elle Fanning and written and directed by Mike Mills.

The premise of the film is the struggle Dorothea (Bening) encounters while raising her 15-year-old son Jamie as a single mother. She fears that for him to grow up into a good man she will need help in his development, so she asks two younger women in her life, Abbie (Gertwig) and Julie (Fanning) to help her help him. 

The setting for this story is Santa Barbara, California in 1979 and writer/director Mills does a wonderful job in recreating this era, replete with VW beetle cars, skateboarding, the profusion of cigarette smoking and the punk/new age music scene. It's almost as if the whole movie was shot with a vintage filter and I found myself slightly nostalgic for simpler times as these.

My mom was asked to join us in our moviegoing but as we had decided very last minute to go, she opted out. Afterwards she asked us "how was the movie?" and the best answer I could come up with was "interesting". I don't think she would like it very much and my daughter still hasn't decided if she liked it or hated it. I loved it but then I tend to like movies that are story driven and a little left of centre. 

Hands down, my favourite scene was one at a dinner party hosted by Dorothea in her large home. She often invites near strangers to join the ragtag bunch who live in her rooming house  for dinner, like the firemen who put out the fire that consumed her car in the parking lot of a grocery store at the beginning of the movie. This particular dinner party was elevated to remarkable when Abbie was nudged by Jamie because she was resting her head on the table. Her excuse was that she was menstruating. Watch the reactions below:

This scene highlights that even uttering the simple word "menstruation" can cause much discomfort, for both males and females,  and Abbie does a wonderful (if unappreciated) job in trying to diffuse the stigma surrounding such an innocent word. 

I wonder, have any of you had a similar situation transpire in your menstruating life? Were you involved in a funny or awkward scenario when the topic of menstruation arose? 

Please leave anecdotes and insights in the comments below.