Saturday, 4 August 2018

Why 'Ladybird' Is So Important

Once nicknamed ‘The Meryl Streep of Mumblecore’, actress and writer Greta Gerwig made her directorial debut this year with ‘Ladybird’. The film has been discussed as though based directly on Greta's 'coming-of-age' in an all girls Catholic School in Sacramento, California, which hasn't really been confirmed or denied, but it is essentially a warming, light-hearted story about a teenage girl in the early 2000’s who’s about to graduate high school.

The protagonist of the film is Christine McPherson who has nicknamed herself 'Ladybird' is played brilliantly by the talented Saoirse Ronan, as a relatable young girl who just wants to get out of her small town and experience the world.

The film captures the dynamics between her and her mother, and the relationships she has with others. Some critics may be quick to deny this film the title of a 'feminist film', due to the fact that it depicts Saoirse's character, Ladybird's struggles and experiences with boys, the love story is essentially of Ladybird and her mother.
It shows a positive portrayal of women but also has a real sense of comedic realism in terms of how it showcases the ups and downs of a mother-daughter friendship, which I think we all have with our mothers. It's the first film I've seen in a long time that captures this complicated but beautiful relationship between mother and daughter so well. It's completely raw and honest, whilst still being light-hearted and humorous.

What I really admire about Greta and her directing style is that she fully invests into all the characters, making sure all their stories as important as the protagonist. I watched a video of her in action and it was truly warming to see the relationship she forms with the actors, and how much energy she puts into each cut.
I truly believe this film is so important for young girls in the same situation as 'Ladybird', as leaving school and going into the big bad world is usually presented as almost fairytale like, with 'chick-flick- films often portraying cliched and misogynistic ideals of college life, whereas in contrast to these, Ladybird is much more realistic.


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