Review notebook: how “Lady Bird”, Saoirse Ronan contains crowds


6:00 a.m. PST, 11/27/2017


Todd McCarthy

The 23-year-old actress captures the cusp between adolescence and adulthood with a strange and brilliant charm and complexity in Greta Gerwig's coming of age film.

Maybe because you can only lose your virginity once, it has always seemed somehow implied that an actor could, or should, only star in a great movie about coming of age: Carey Mulligan in An education, Jean-Pierre Leaud in The 400 Blows, Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse, Ellen Page in Juno – the list is long. But someone has broken that rule now. Two years ago, Saoirse Ronan reduced many of us to whining idiots with her intensely poignant portrayal of an Irish teenager in the early 1950s in New York at Brooklyn, and now she has come back superbly playing a different type of teenager on the verge of independence in the instant clbadic of Greta Gerwig Lady Bird.

By nature, time and circumstance, Ronan's character in Brooklyn was correct and correct in language and behavior, and faced, in the end, with a choice between two men and two countries. In Lady Bird, Ronan, self-described high school senior Catholic, who has been severely defrauded by two guys (can hardly be called men), must muster the strength to get rid of family ties in boredom Sacramento and immerse yourself in college and New York University after September 11 and all that that can bring.

"I wish I could survive something," says Lady Bird to her mother (Laurie Metcalf) at first, and in fact she does. Nothing is more daunting to her than her mother's suffocating negativity, her fear of losing her only daughter expressed in the most suffocating way, which only guarantees that the baby stays as far away as possible. Any conversation between this mother and her daughter can go from zero to sixty on the scale of hostility in a short time, and one of the many wonders of the film is the complicity skill with which Metcalf, excellent as the overwhelmed mother that induces the guilt, and Ronan achieve these tense exchanges.

When faced with adversity, Lady Bird of Ronan is constantly angry instead of mortally wounded. After catching an initial heartthrob by kissing with a guy in a bathroom, she simply screams and is the end, while she seems more disappointed than crushed by the postcoital indifference of her first lover. A true romantic that she does not seem to be. One of the keys to Ronan's performance is the cleverness with which he mixes the feeling of certainty with uncertainty; It makes you feel the agitation, the anxiety of your situation, never losing sight of your confidence that she will leave and continue with your life.

A surprising and still invisible virtue of Lady Bird is that, despite being obviously autobiographical, through two visions I never thought of Ronan as a substitute for Gerwig. Apart from the blonde hair, they do not look alike, but it is more than their style and bearing they are very different. With Gerwig, I'm always holding my breath to do something charmingly silly or charming, and I rarely have to inhale in the middle; She is a rare contemporary reminder of characters like Carole Lombard or Lucille Ball. Lady Bird starring Gerwig, 20, would have been a very different movie.

Ronan is clearly a serious actress of high level and perhaps not prone, by nature, to being self-taught. erased, to emphasize the comic. Rather, his performance contains the multitudes, the many fleeting humors and the charged emotions of adolescence on the verge of independence. The cusp between adolescent immaturity and early adulthood has rarely been captured so brilliantly.

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