The Movie: 8/10
A senior in high school trying to find out exactly who she is, sounds familiar. It was a long time ago, 32 years to be exact, but I identify with the feeling of being trapped in a life that isn’t yours. I think it’s pretty universal, but I don’t think we all are quite as bold about it as Lady Bird tries to be. She’s sure her mother doesn’t love her, which is not correct but easy to understand because her mom is quite critical and distant. We learn more about them as the story goes, and the mom is just so in love with wanting her children to do well, but blinded by her own life choices and troubles that it all comes out a bit wrong. For a young 18-year-old woman it feels like constant rejection, not to mention she is not the most popular among her high school contemporaries, and that growing feeling of not belonging to anything makes Lady Bird make some of her own choices that don’t make a lot of sense.
I am giving this movie a high score because I really enjoyed it and I can see and feel the efforts of everyone involved. I believe in the characters and their journeys. It’s beautifully shot and the music is excellent. It’s a fun and satisfying movie watching experience, one of the best for the past few months, and yet, here comes the other side of how I saw this movie.
I get it, this is a fun, vibrant, funny and touching story. It’s made well. Most of the performances are seamless, and the overall vibe is one I enjoyed a lot. The thing is….and don’t get huffy if because it was nominated for awards that it’s perfect and above criticism…..it’s got a lot of problems. Our leading lady is amazing and I love Saoirse Ronan. I have wanted to see more of her since she was in Hannah. The first problem is that at no point through the entire movie am I convinced she is 18 years old. Even when she does go to college I’m not convinced she’s a college student. It’s not down to her performance. She does the things that people who age do, and with the same emotional weight and confusion at times, however, she is just a grown woman and it did pull me out of her story a lot of the time. I supposed you can say that’s nothing to do with the story, but when I’m distracted by anything that should be hidden, it starts to make some of the flaws come to light.
Inside the dialog are a lot of gems and humor. I love many of the conversations and reactions between characters. Once in a while though, it felt forced and didn’t make sense for the person we are following to say or make some of the choices they are making. For example, when Lady Bird befriends the schools popular snotty girl and our pink haired girl breaks into a character we haven’t been following up to that point. She starts out independent, strong, she might be confused about who she is, but from our point of view she’s a very particular kind of person. She’s loyal to her best friend, she doesn’t care about popularity or belonging to the snotty crowd, and yet at some point she suddenly decides to be part of that group. It doesn’t make any sense and when she pulls back and realizes they aren’t her type, it hasn’t got the impact it should have.
The mom is flawless to me:) My mom isn’t like this woman, but I totally get why she is how she is, even if I don’t agree with how she puts her troubles onto her children in a passive aggressive way, the performance is beautiful and deserved all the attention it got.
Overall I had a great time with Lady Bird. I enjoy the liveliness and the self exploration of any young person in a story. I just think I’ve outgrown some of the movie writing tools like “she abandons her best friend for the popular crowd but then at the last-minute goes back to her best friend and we all cheer or cry”. I didn’t cheer or cry from happiness. I was just puzzled and a little let down.
Lady Bird is an awesome character and I do really like the style of writer/director Greta Gerwig. Maybe I’m getting too old or have seen too many movies to not notice the things that stand I’m looking forward to more of her and Ronan, hopefully together again in the future.
- Audio Commentary With Greta Gerwig & Sam Levy
- Realizing Lady Bird Featurette (15 Minutes) – Some interviews and onset footage from the film.
- Blu-ray, DVD & UV Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 8/10
Lady Bird comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate and a 1080P AVC transfer in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Filmed digitally Lady Bird has obvious post production tweaks to the image to make it look like film. Often this is distracting and I feel unnecessary. Color grading is also different from scene to scene so if you’re looking for an artistic stylish film this is it. The transfer is solid with deep blacks and superb clarity on facial close-ups. Macro-blocking is not evident in any of the scenes.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is about on par for this type of film. Surround speakers do come to life whenever music or crowd scenes occur. Dialog and score are mixed well and never detract from one another. Lady Bird is a great looking and sounding Blu-ray and is well worth a watch.
Overall Score 8/10