Lady Bird review

We have a new star in the film industry and her name is Greta Gerwing.

According to IMDB’s database, Greta is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, and director who is widely-known for her several collaborations with Noah Baumbach.

Born in Sacramento, California, to Christine Gerwing, a nurse, and Gordon Gerwing, a financial consulant and computer programmer, Greta has described herself as ‘an intense child’. Later on, she would graduate from Barnard College in New York, where she studied English and philosophy.

Originally intending to become a playwright, after meeting young film director Joe Swanberg, her plans changed as she became the star of a series of independent low budget movies made by first-time filmmakers, a trend dubbed “mumblecore”.

She had worked with accomplished filmmakers, but international recognition did not come until her work on Frances Ha (2012), a film by Noah Baumbach that she co-wrote.

In 2017, she wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical film Lady Bird (2017), starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Timothée Chalamet.

Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a strong and independent female like her deeply opinionated, susceptible mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf). Metcalf plays a hardworking nurse trying to keep her family afloat after Christine’s father (Tracy Letts) loses his job.

Based in Sacramento, California in 2002, Lady Bird raises questions about the relationships and beliefs that define us, and what it means to have a place called home.

The focus of this movie is, in my opinion, the importance of attention. The French philosopher Simone Weil, also known for her lifelong open relationship with fellow French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote of attention as a kind of spiritual discipline. “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity, presupposing faith and love.”

In the spirit of this quote, Christine’s teacher, Sister Sarah, tells her in the film: “You write about Sacramento so affectionately, and with such care. Don’t you think they are the same thing? Love and attention?”.

Love and attention are indeed the main themes of this film. The director’s intention is for us to recall the importance of self-identity formation and development during the teenage years. As teens, we begin to understand that life is synonymous with struggle that we must accept, but we can also find beauty and purpose through these dark times.

Lady Bird is just one complex teenage girl but she also portrays all of our inner desires for freedom – desires which she fights throughout the film to express.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that Lady Bird comes away with several Oscars this year.

Lady Bird opens in Italian theaters on March 1st, Universal distribution.