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NauenThen

Lady Bird

Clearly I'm in a tiny minority for not loving Greta Gerwig's new movie, Lady Bird.

The Times for example:
You might think you’ve seen this all before. You probably have, but never quite like this. What Ms. Gerwig has done — and it’s by no means a small accomplishment — is to infuse one of the most convention-bound, rose-colored genres in American cinema with freshness and surprise. The characters can look like familiar figures: the sad dad and the disapproving mom; the sullen brother and his goth girlfriend; the mean girls and the cool teachers; the too-perfect boyfriend and the dirtbag boyfriend. None of them are caricatures, though, and while everyone is mocked, nobody is treated with cruelty or contempt, at least by Ms. Gerwig. (Lady Bird is not always so kind.)

And: ... "even though Lady Bird will never be perfect, Lady Bird is."

Other reviews are similar.

I guess I like when more happens. I felt it didn't go far enough—there was always someone who had their eye out for her, never a sense that she might really mess up. It just seemed like another out-of-place, she shows 'em, happily ever after, we really love each other, wise father explains mom & takes daughter's side, coming-of-age film. What happens when the father doesn't fill out financial aid forms and the kid doesn't get a chance to go to the college of her choice? Where neither parent takes any particular interest or intervenes? When there's neither much love nor liking in the family & resentments fester? Also, I thought Saoirse Ronan looked too old to play a 17-year-old.

I guess if you see lots of movies, you have a better sense of what works & what doesn't, the way a meal that's fantastic to someone who eats out rarely might be less amazing to a restaurant reviewer. It's hard not to feel that the reviewer knows too much to speak to me. Not in an elitist fashion, but out of expertise. I'm not wrong when I appreciate a poem because I know more about its lineage or technical success, and the casual poetry reader isn't wrong for responding to other criteria.
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