2017: #7 Lady Bird

Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Written by: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith
Distributor: A24
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Format: Digital
Date released: 11/3/2017
Date seen: 11/18/2017
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $44 Million
# of Oscar nominations: 5 (Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress)
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 5 (Best Editing, Best Soundtrack, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 2 (Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress)

I’ve long been kind of critical of young filmmakers who choose to start their careers by making semi-autobiographical coming of age movies. It’s a tactic which always seems unimaginative reeks of narcissism, a sort of over-literalization of the phase “write what you know.” The thing is, that outlook can work out in a film’s favor because whenever a filmmaker is able to make one of these things and actually make it work I tend to be doubly impressed by it. That was certainly the case of Lady Bird, which managed to be this really clear-eyed look at teenagerdom which didn’t have to resort to the usual tricks like voice-overs, indie-rock soundtracks, or Wes Andersony quirks. There’s a lot in the film that rings true to me, especially the characters, who are all brought to life by excellent performances and it was certainly a trip seeing a film like this look back at the early 2000s. When I first reviewed the film I was a bit put off by the ending and I still think that could have been handled better, but it does seem like a smaller quibble in hindsight. The movie does sort of live in the shadow of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which also examined this generation in a similar fashion but with added scope, but in its smaller ambitions Lady Bird manages to impress quite a bit as well.

#8 Year End Honors #6