Director: Greta Gerwig
Nominated for: Best Picture; Best Actress; Best Supporting Actress; Best Director; Best Original Screenplay
Lady Bird was one of the must see movies for me on this year’s Oscars contenders list – and yet proved to be the hardest to find at the cinema given its limited run so has ended up being the last one I watched. It was also the shortest and made me question why we now have such long films when it’s possible to tell a great story in 1 hour 30?
Lady Bird is a delightful coming-of-age movie that actually features a female as the lead for once. Set in 2002-2003 this really resonated with me as I was the same age at that time and therefore going through the same things. And then there was the relationship Lady Bird has with her parents – it was similar enough (although mine was with my dad) that I actually found myself getting quite emotional. Lady Bird’s relationship with her mum is somewhat strained simply because they are too alike and therefore rub each other up the wrong way. They each know exactly which buttons to push in each other and frequently do so. It’s the sort of relationship I had with my dad when I was in my late teens and still sometimes flares up to this day so it was very relatable to me. Laurie Metcalf is great in her role as the matriarch trying to keep the family together while at the same time keeping tabs on her wayward daughter.
Beanie Feldstein is delightful as Julie, Lady Bird’s best friend, who is always pushed into the background thanks to Lady Bird’s larger-than-life persona. And then there is Lady Bird herself played with aplomb as always by the marvellous Saoirse Ronan. Is there anything she cannot do? She is such an incredible actress and still relatively early on in her career. I’m also seriously impressed that she manages to disguise every single bit of her very Irish accent. She’s wild and unruly as Lady Bird – very much trying to find who she is as a person amongst a much more reserved family and school. It’s something that is relatable and refreshing to see because all too often coming-of-age films are very male centric.
It’s a strong film for women, both in front of and behind the scenes, which is great to see. And it’s actually a great story delivered well too so not just a gimmick movie. I wouldn’t say it is my favourite film that’s been nominated for Best Picture but it’s certainly up there. I would love to see Greta Gerwig recognised for her achievement as director because it’s a brilliant debut and it would be fantastic if another woman won for once.