This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
yazz! *･ﾟ✧’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
- get ready for a long ass review and this is the cut-down version lmao (the full review can be found here: yazzjames.wixsite.com/yazz/single-post/2018/03/08/Yazz-on-Film-Lady-Bird-2017-dir-Greta-Gerwig)
- I’ve been waiting months and months to see this in the cinema and wanted to write my “”proper”” review after the “"proper”” viewing experience; this was my fifth time watching it (i think) but first time seeing it in the cinema
- if you’ve read my other lady bird reviews then (unsurprisingly) you’ll see some sense of those in this one.
- like with pretty much all my reviews, I talk about myself a fair bit haha I can't help but relate films to my own life, especially w this one. I might regret sharing so much personal info at a later date but here we are now.
- edit: i re-read this and my expression is awful at times but i kinda just splurged everything that was on my mind haha
I’m really tight for money at the moment and so me deciding to go to the cinema to see a film I’ve already watched a bunch of times initially seemed kinda dumb; however, seeing this on the big screen was a whole new experience. it felt like I was watching an entirely different film at times. I noticed a lot more and it was so nice to physically be joined by friends and other audience members. I went with two girls I met in my film analysis seminars last term and they were 10000% the right people to experience this with; we had a catch up, admired the place (I love u fancy Brighton cinema), watched the film and then went to a pub afterwards.
I think my favourite scenes in the film are the car scenes; my mum and I tend to be pretty busy and don’t actually get too much time to just sit and chat when I’m home and I’d definitely say most of our big conversation moments have been in the car; there have been times we’ve literally just sat outside the house in the car for an hour finishing a (kinda deep) well-needed talk; the car feels like a safe place. when we go for long drives (or even short ones) it's familiar and private and our own little bubble. the car scenes in this hold similar moments. my favourite is easily the scene where mrs mcpherson picks lady bird up from kyle’s; although different situations, I’ve had times like that with my mum. sometimes the car seems like a good place to have big conversations because you don’t need to be opposite each other or talking directly to each other’s faces; you can kind of just let your thoughts and feelings out to the world through the windscreen, just there’s someone to respond and guide you. it’s hard to speak about complicated things when looking directly at someone. I think this same kind of thing also happens in the bathroom scene. we learn that larry’s depressed, and rather than facing each other. the two speak to each other through the mirror.
at times it feels like I’m watching old home movies; we get static shots of christmas day and opening gifts, we see thanksgiving and new years eve. although it may not be explicitly autobiographical, there’s such a level of personality to the film. as someone who journals - not often enough mind you - that’s what it feels like. we see lady bird on the cusp of ‘adulthood’; milestones in her life are presented - first kisses, sending off college applications, prom… - as well as little everyday scenarios - the breakfast table, sitting in class… if someone were to make a film based on my journal, I’m guessing it would be fairly similar. this film just feels so real. there’s the awkward attempts at flirting, discussions on masturbation, screams of happiness and adrenaline. one scene where the cinematography (surprisingly maybe) really got to me was when lady bird was begging her mum to speak to her. there’s a slow zoom and it makes me feel almost suffocated and trapped every time I see it; it feels like the kind of thing you’d get in a horror film. I think that's the moment where, as an audience member, it hits you that this is the thing to break her mum’s heart. a big part of the film - to me - is about attention vs love; by ignoring lady bird, marion makes her feel as though she’s lost her mother’s love.
another one of my favourite aspects of the film is lady bird’s room; probably because it reminds me of my own. I’m the kind of person that needs to have my space feel like My Own Space. the first thing I did when I moved into my uni room was decorate the walls; back home I have a big canvas with random knick knacks I’ve found over the years and stuck them on; it’s like a journal in its own sense I guess. lady bird’s room clearly holds years of memories. she’s got signs she’s obviously pinched from random antics - restroom logos, no trespassing warnings. she writes her crushes names on her wall as if she’d forget them otherwise, it’s like she wants to own them. as a rushmore lover, the mini poster of wes’ film caught my eye the first time I watched it. whether greta did this just to highlight the late nineties, early noughties period or whether she was making a comment on lady bird's taste is interesting to me. if you haven’t seen rushmore I’d recommend it, it’s brilliant and hilarious and my favourite wes anderson film. I can definitely see similarities between max and christine, both seem a little lost, but also so sure of themselves at the same time; neither of them has one thing in particular that they excel in at school, instead they just like trying out lots of different things.
a detail I noticed for the first time tonight was that in the ‘first one to cry wins’ scene, lady bird is actually close to tears; the fact that most of the students closed their eyes and didn’t get very far, whilst christine just seems to stare and get teary-eyed says a lot and makes me wonder what was on her mind.
there’s still so much I didn’t say, even with this review being a bit long! there was a point where I wondered whether to bump this down slightly from five stars to four n a half, but tonight made me realise that’d be a mistake. I got home around 2 hours after the film ended and looked at my phone to see a really lovely message my mum sent me randomly. watching lady bird and thinking about it so much and then receiving that has made me really excited to be back home for a bit next week.
once again, you can read the full review here: yazzjames.wixsite.com/yazz/single-post/2018/03/08/Yazz-on-Film-Lady-Bird-2017-dir-Greta-Gerwig