The Cost of Being Unique - Ladybird (REVIEW)
Saoirse Ronan has proven that she is a star in Hollywood, not for the big blockbusters but for the smaller dramatic roles. This for me was solidified in the excellent Brooklyn. Now she finds herself under writer and first time director Greta Gerwig, another female star who has a knack for finding female stories that are true to life and pack some emotional weight, this time in Ladybird, a story about a girl trying to be who she wants to be, parents and friends be damned.
What I really enjoyed about this film is like so many great films is the ability to make the personal experiences feel universal. The relationship between Ladybird and the people she finds herself surrounded with mirrors that of I'd say a lot of people in their teenage years. You have the best friend and your parents and that is all very comfortable but you want to branch out and be your own person and prove to the world that you are a contributing member of society that will be remembered.
Speaking of relationships, seeing her interact with her parents, the mother especially is a fascinating one. They can be yelling at each other one minute and in the next breath be smiling and happy to have found a cute dress. These two are just so passionate in their beliefs that butting heads is constant but so is their love for one another. The father is a much more calm and level headed person and there is always that difference in parents, not unlike mine in some respects but later we see the reasons behind these apparent divides in personality and as usual the truth is often more complicated than we first believed. Everyone has their way of doing things and they all have their reasons and rather than villianize someone, we see both sides of the argument and can sympathize equally with all parties making for a very measured yet messy journey.
The cast is simply perfect. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf steal the show but just about everyone that inhabits this world feels real and part of this network of people surrounding Ladybird in a way that feels genuine and that goes a long way in being able to connect with everyone on screen in their own ways and understand them.
The deft handling of the material is something that you can enjoy and the story is just zany enough at times to keep things from getting too heavy. It's a balancing act that Greta Gerwig finds wonderfully and with the help of some great performances brings Ladybird in for a touching landing that makes the whole experience worth watching.
Growing up, trying to be unique is hard but rewarding in ways