Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 147825 times)

Junior

  • Bert Macklin, FBI
  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 28541
  • What's the rumpus?
    • Benefits of a Classical Education
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1630 on: December 01, 2017, 09:09:51 AM »
So many interesting things coming out. Surprised I haven't seen more about this one here. Maybe everybody is just assuming its greatness?

Lady Bird

I guess we’ve reached the point where 9/11 sight gags are funny. At one point in Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, there’s a montage of fun stuff that happens during the titular character’s senior year at a Catholic High School in Sacramento. During the montage there’s a quick insert of a character giving a speech and behind her hangs an accurately cutesy pushpin bulletin board that features the old slogan, “9/11: Never Forget” in sparkly bubble letters. I laughed at it, then I thought about why that shot got that reaction from me. Part of it is the specificity and authenticity to 2002, one of this film’s strongest selling points, and part of it is the juxtaposition between that serious message and the silly events that surround it. But the element of that quick shot that stood out most to me was the difference in how I felt about that saying in 2002 and how I feel about it 15 years later. Lady Bird is about 4 years older than I was in 2002 but even in late middle school I felt a deep and serious calling to never forget the events of that day. I guess I haven’t forgotten 9/11 half my life later but it feels much less central to my definition of myself than it did at the time. There are all kinds of reasons for this change, from the mere passage of time to the reckoning one must do with the way we responded to the attack (the film also pays attention to this, at least in the background), and I think it is probably a good thing to not have terrorism on my mind 24/7 anymore. Lady Bird isn’t about 9/11, but Gerwig’s film does address all of these other ideas. Its conflict is a fraught mother/daughter relationship among various other high-school-finding-yourself drama and it is so invested in the details of the fights, the way they’ve grown imperceptibly until they explode into month-long silences, that it is very easy to get wrapped up in them. But I grew out of that kind of stuff long ago and Lady Bird is likely to as well. So why look at them? Because those feelings and fights mattered, and the way we think about them now is related to how we thought about them then. Like 9/11, see?

Ok, that’s a pretty heavy opening for a review of such a fun movie. Lady Bird, played delightfully by Saoirse Ronan, is not all moping and fighting. Even when she does mope and fight, she does so with a wit and verve that kept me engaged and rooting for her. She’s not exactly a likable character but then again people aren’t likable characters. Lady Bird feels like some of my friends from High School mixed in with some of what I’ve seen Gerwig do as an actor and writer elsewhere (the excellent Frances Ha, for example) and that includes her self-centered-ness and her obvious attempts to become various versions of herself depending on her audience. High schoolers are generally pretty self-centered, though, so another point for the film’s accuracy. Her high dislikability quotient does not harm the film. In fact, it is what makes the movie so rewarding to watch. That her arc involves some growth is probably not a surprise. It sneaks up on you; by the end I was sitting in my seat marveling at what Gerwig accomplishes with a speech and a few cuts. There is another juxtaposition there that really drives home the ideas about the passage of time and the way our personalities change as we experience new things and take on new burdens that just took my breath away.

Not that I had much breath to begin with. This movie moves at such an assured pace that I never once felt like a scene dragged on for too long or that any given plot point was overstaying its welcome. The quickness keeps even the fights light; this movie could have easily been an weighty emotionally draining drama but it is instead a mostly airy affair. What is impressive about Lady Bird’s nimbleness is not that quality in an of itself but rather Gerwig’s shrewd manipulation of it into a real-feeling, powerful ending. Perhaps things get wrapped up a bit too quickly here, most plot points are resolved quite neatly, but damn if it isn’t one of the most moving endings I’ve experienced in a while. I don’t want to spoil it for you so let me talk about another, similar element abstractly. At one point, early in the film, there’s a heartbreak and a jump cut to Lady Bird and her friend, Julie, sitting in a car, crying along to “Crash Into Me” by Dave Matthews Band. It’s the perfect song for them to be listening to and it’s a punchline of sorts. Here we have characters crying on screen and I’m laughing at their song choice. Later, “Crash Into Me” returns and the feelings surrounding it are very different for both the characters and audiences. Then it plays again even later in the film and by that time everything has changed again. It’s a remarkable feat and the movie in miniature. At this stage in a young person’s life things change so quickly that nothing means what it meant yesterday. It is fascinating to look back on that moment in my life through the lens of this film, even though I was better off and not a woman. Lady Bird’s thrills lie in its details, the keen observations Gerwig makes on screen, and in the acting that brings it to life. Its evocation of a nostalgic-yet-grounded-in-reality look at the passage of time and the way relationships change is the warm core of the film, and the reason why it is a modern classic.

A
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 09:13:02 AM by Junior »
Check out my blog of many topics

“I’m not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!”

DarkeningHumour

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 10456
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1631 on: December 01, 2017, 09:11:53 AM »
I'm jealous of you jerks.
« Society is dumb. Art is everything. » - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16746
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1632 on: December 01, 2017, 09:16:42 AM »
So many interesting things coming out. Surprised I haven't seen more about this one here. Maybe everybody is just assuming its greatness?

Lady Bird

I posted a loving review. I just think most people haven't had a chance to see it yet?
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

DarkeningHumour

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 10456
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1633 on: December 01, 2017, 09:17:52 AM »
I posted a loving review. I just think most people haven't had a chance to see it yet?

Correct. s
« Society is dumb. Art is everything. » - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16746
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1634 on: December 01, 2017, 09:21:29 AM »
I'm jealous of you jerks.

I posted a loving review. I just think most people haven't had a chance to see it yet?

Correct. s

Y'all are going to hate me when my review of The Post drops later today. There is an embargo so I'm not supposed to post anything until later this month (won't on my website), but I'll still post it here, assuming nobody outs me!
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

DarkeningHumour

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 10456
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1635 on: December 01, 2017, 09:23:15 AM »
Can one of the admins create a script that only posts Corndog's reviews after everyone else has had a chance to watch the movies? Thanks.
« Society is dumb. Art is everything. » - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

Junior

  • Bert Macklin, FBI
  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 28541
  • What's the rumpus?
    • Benefits of a Classical Education
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1636 on: December 01, 2017, 09:27:49 AM »
So many interesting things coming out. Surprised I haven't seen more about this one here. Maybe everybody is just assuming its greatness?

Lady Bird

I posted a loving review. I just think most people haven't had a chance to see it yet?

I guess I just assume that when I can see it here in my little cinema desert everybody else can probably see it too. It expanded last weekend to the local multiplex, too. I wouldn't be surprised if people were waiting for home viewing, though. That'll lose some of the audience experience with the laughs at certain points, but not too big of a miss.
Check out my blog of many topics

“I’m not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!”

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16746
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1637 on: December 01, 2017, 09:30:03 AM »
So many interesting things coming out. Surprised I haven't seen more about this one here. Maybe everybody is just assuming its greatness?

Lady Bird

I posted a loving review. I just think most people haven't had a chance to see it yet?

I guess I just assume that when I can see it here in my little cinema desert everybody else can probably see it too. It expanded last weekend to the local multiplex, too. I wouldn't be surprised if people were waiting for home viewing, though. That'll lose some of the audience experience with the laughs at certain points, but not too big of a miss.

Would be curious to poll the active members to see how often they get to the cinema in a given year or month vs. how often they wait to just see something at home?
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

DarkeningHumour

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 10456
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1638 on: December 01, 2017, 09:37:46 AM »
Yeah, someone should definitely have done that already...
« Society is dumb. Art is everything. » - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

Corndog

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 16746
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1639 on: December 01, 2017, 09:38:24 AM »
I thought it sounded familiar...
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."