Lady Bird (2017) is a film by Greta Gerwig. It packs in John Hughes-style teenage anguish. But its main focus is on female bonds and self-determination, rather than the validation by a boyfriend. This sets it apart.
The teen movie is frequently raucous affair, embryonic sexual stirrings, the argumentative parent or child relationships and the heart-tugging commotion of post-adolescent companionship. It is the reason why it is surprising to find Lady Bird (2017) as such a calm and understated movie. But there is maybe something about Gerwig’s slenderness of touch. It gives clarity to one of the film’s loudest themes. That is its unapologetic feminism.
About the film
The central character played by Saoirse Ronan is unsatisfied with her moderately drab given name, Christine. She precociously assumes the pseudonym Lady Bird. She dresses in thrift-shop dresses and has dyed pink hair which is clumsy. Lady Bird dreams of leaving what she deems the artistic wasteland of Sacramento, California, and her claustrophobic Catholic school. She wants to study at a pricey liberal arts college located on the US East Coast.
Feminism or not
Lady Bird is in several ways an epitome of feminist recalibration of the kind of genre tropes that are related to the teen film. Lady Bird has something that represents the everydayness of Molly Ringwald‘s several incarnations. Minus the ramped-up obedience and also recursive romantic trajectories that freighted several of Hughes’s movies. The main character has two love interests. Danny, played by Lucas Hedges, a charming fellow member of her school’s drama program. While Kyle played by Timothée Chalamet, is a disaffected musician. Lady Bird breaks up with the former after she discovered him making out with a boy in a toilet. She tires of the latter on seeing through his calculated pseudo-rebel personality.
Lady Bird doesn’t regard romantic breakdown as a dissertation on her common worth. How she values herself is entirely self-determined, a bullish sense of her perspective. She is seen comforting Danny on his struggle to appear. Keeping his head by her chest and lovingly raking through his hair. This is an intuition to nurture men that perhaps she inherited from her mother. Her mother tiptoes around her father as he pulls through depression. She learns that Kyle is a virgin. Virginity is often a preoccupation in Hughes’s movies, and particularly for Ringwald’s characters. However, different in The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles. Lady Bird’s virginity is not representative of her failure to connect with life, nor her obvious innocence; like her short-lived connections with men. Sex is not something that she structures her individuality around, rather something that happens.
Conclusion of Lady Bird 2017
Lady Bird’s most important connection is certainly with her mother Marion, the roundly magnificent Laurie Metcalf. Maternal love is represented with needed brutality. Marion continually reprimands Lady Bird, telling her that she is unlikely to get into the east-coast college of her dreams. This is related to her poor work ethic and also her bad grades. Lady Bird jumps out of a moving car in response. She is nurturing in her daughter the resolve, required to exist in the world. This is a power that she vividly inhabits.