Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

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mfunk9786
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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#26 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:57 pm

Amusing to finally discover, though it was only undiscovered because I never thought about it, what "Crash Into Me" is about. But I don't see anything wrong about Gerwig's charming and straightforwardly respectful way of obtaining the rights to this music and perhaps getting a bit of a bargain for it in the process. All three of those songs figure heavily in the film (i.e. extend beyond mere needle drops) and so it would've been difficult to shoot first and ask for forgiveness later, as it seems Edgar Wright or Sony's legal department did with one or more of the songs in Baby Driver.

And in that era when Dave Matthews' music would come on the radio and sometimes not be too unpleasant, though it certainly isn't anything groundbreaking - "Crash Into Me" was probably the most pleasant of those songs to listen to.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#27 Post by Gregory » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:14 pm

To each their own, and I also like her means of getting permission. (As Jack Black said about pleading with Led Zeppelin for the use of "Immigrant Song" in front of a packed crowd while shooting School of Rock, "Don't be too proud to beg.")
But some of what she's saying about this song is kind of unbelievable
HuffPo wrote:Gerwig was convinced “Crash Into Me” would be the song that Lady Bird and Julie cry to after getting their hearts broken by boys. She never considered an alternative.
“It was written into the script,” she said. “That was the song I wanted. I had no idea what I was going to do if Dave Matthews said no. I wrote him a letter describing how much I loved the song. I’d made my dad take me to one of his concerts. When I was in high school, he took me and stayed with me because I didn’t have anyone to go with."
There are so, so many romantic songs about young lovers out there. To me, the Dave Matthews song seems more like it's about some middle-aged guy who owns a van with a mud-spattered aluminum ladder in the back.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#28 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:17 pm

But when you're a teenager in 2003 and it's on the radio, do you think about it that way? Yes, you have considered what the song is about and you have the benefit of hindsight, but just speaking from my experience without feeling much of a need to defend this film, a lot of girls at my high school loved Dave Matthews Band and would not have stopped to contemplate whether a song was lyrically appropriate to consume for their specific situation. I mean, shit, half of that shit is about like, apartheid and alcoholism on Native American reservations, isn't it?

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#29 Post by Gregory » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:29 pm

I get what you're saying, which is why I wrote that "most who listened to the song probably didn't even notice," especially because of Matthews's singing voice and the fact that the part about peeping comes more than three minutes into the song. But even assuming the lyrics went unnoticed, I wonder why it'd be seen as such an epic anthem of romance. Gerwig has the same benefit of hindsight and considering what it's about now as anyone else—I'd think she'd have thought about it more than I or others have.
But I'm not trying to criticize her for her choices, which she has every right to make, just giving my honest reaction partly out of interest in weird stuff that goes unnoticed in mainstream pop lyrics, even in hits. This one goes another whole level beyond the phenomenon of the Police tune about the obsessed stalker being a common wedding-reception song choice.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#30 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:34 pm

Gregory wrote:I wonder why it'd be seen as such an epic anthem of romance. Gerwig has the same benefit of hindsight and considering what it's about now as anyone else—I'd think she'd have thought about it more than I or others have.
Would her characters have, though?

You mentioned not having seen the film - I think all of this might make a little (or a lot) more sense to you in context.

It not having yet been the iPod or even car CD player (for a kid in high school) era (not quite, at least), going with a song that's exactly on the nose that doesn't illicit the right level of nostalgia for that time period would have been a greater mistake than something culturally second-hand embarrassing with some problematic lyrics.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#31 Post by Murdoch » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:02 pm

As someone who came of age around the same time as this movie takes place, this was an interesting look back in time, even if my experience was markedly different. I liked the quiet references to 9/11 and the way it seeped into the background. It is a very small part of the film, but given how many American movies seem to operate out of a general fear of bringing up anything that could be deemed political, it was nice to have this cute coming of age story give a nod to it and not shy away.

This a movie very much lifted by its characters. Not just the central mother-daughter relationship, but all of the supporting players are captivating in a muted way - the priest suffering from depression (whose brief scenes are the highlights of the film for me), the best friend with a crush on her teacher, the closeted boyfriend, the father that lost his job. None of these are explored much or given much resolution, which works to create a vibrant world and let the viewer know that while Lady Bird's struggle is the focus, the experiences of those around her shouldn't be discounted. While it deals in cliche, the film rises above them by never succumbing to what's expected from those cliches. I particularly liked Lady Bird's friendship with the school popular girl, fully expecting some kind of Mean Girls making-fun-of-the-nerds scene and being pleasantly surprised when they just wind up hanging out in a pool and talking about college. This film has certainly been made before, and will be made again, but it's a very enjoyable entry to the high school free spirit category and I look forward to showing it to others.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#32 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:33 pm

I loved this. Sacramento is my hometown so I might be slightly biased but a lot of this movie felt shockingly accurate, particularly the handling of class consciousness. I appreciated the way it finds specificities in all the standard high school tropes that make them feel more grounded and observant, and the shifts against expectation never felt forced. Just really good and solid, and I haven't laughed this much at a movie in a long time, so that was a nice break. Laurie Metcalf needs an award.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#33 Post by Brian C » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:02 pm

I agree about Metcalf. Everyone is good in the film but Metcalf is really exceptional.

It's amusing that this thread has gotten sidetracked by controversy over the use of "Crash", both because a) the film's use of the song is eminently credible - perhaps even obvious - as something the characters would love, and b) regardless of lyrical concerns, it's pretty much the only DMB song I can think of off hand that's actually listenable for me.

I'm also amused by Gerwig's letter to Alanis Morissette, since the song's only in the movie as a throwaway moment that's actually a joke at Morissette's expense. It's funny that in the letter to Matthews she attached the script pages, in the letter to Timberlake she describes the scene in question, and in the letter to Morissette there's no mention of context at all but rather a YouTube link to something Ronan did as a kid.

Anyway, as for the movie, it's good-natured and sweet, but without sanding away the conflict between Lady Bird and her mom. I suppose it's true that there's an essential lightness to it, but that actually seems honest to me. When you're in high school, things always seem more important than they really are, and I think the movie nails that dynamic in a way that's forthright and unique, but still without trivializing that these things really matter to Lady Bird. All in all, I think it's a lot more complex than it's being given credit for.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#34 Post by Gregory » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:23 pm

How is discussing the film's song choices and the letters that were posted "sidetracking" the thread?

And as I haven't yet seen the film, I wasn't debating the credibility of these specific characters loving the song. I was responding to Gerwig's statements about it, which she's made repeatedly, not just in the letter to Matthews and wondering why anyone would get such warm fuzzy feelings about it. I also never meant for there to be any air of "controversy" about this whatsoever; I just think it's a gross, awful song. Sorry.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#35 Post by Brian C » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:10 pm

Gregory wrote:How is discussing the film's song choices and the letters that were posted "sidetracking" the thread?

And as I haven't yet seen the film, I wasn't debating the credibility of these specific characters loving the song. I was responding to Gerwig's statements about it, which she's made repeatedly, not just in the letter to Matthews and wondering why anyone would get such warm fuzzy feelings about it. I also never meant for there to be any air of "controversy" about this whatsoever; I just think it's a gross, awful song. Sorry.
I didn't mean to scold - I said it was amusing to me and that's the spirit in which I mentioned it. Ease up on the defensiveness a bit there, bro.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#36 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:14 pm

Brian C wrote:I'm also amused by Gerwig's letter to Alanis Morissette, since the song's only in the movie as a throwaway moment that's actually a joke at Morissette's expense.
Hah! Well, usually a licensor will request a clip from what's more or less the final cut just to confirm they weren't deceived in any manner, so I'm sure Morissette or her management knew what was up before the very end. But it would be hilarious if they didn't and then went to the premiere or theater only to be like "HEY!!"

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#37 Post by All the Best People » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:46 pm

The audience I saw the film with was laughing so hard at the DMB scene that it drowned out the song and I didn't have an opportunity to recognize it -- fortunate for me, as I hate the song (but find its usage there quite accurate to the setting and characters).

EDITED TO CLARIFY:
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The crying scene.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#38 Post by John Shade » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:39 pm

I loved this and almost find it hard to write about. Echoing the comments from above, the performances are top notch, especially in the way the nuns, priests, teachers, parents--all who are there to serve these kids--are hinted at having more of a life but the kids just don't quite perceive it yet. The point Brian C makes about things seeming way more important but not trivializing is personified in that moment between Ronan and Chalamet, one I found both funny and touching, when Ronan expresses her deep disapointment and Chalamet comes back with some line about dead civilians in Iraq (this made me burst out laughing--side note, I don't recall a recent movie ridiculing such a young leftist dolt before, while humanizing nuns--quite the surprise). It seems like Gerwig really learned from Whit Stillman; the ending reminded me of Last Days of Disco, maybe (?) better. Very witty movie with some one-liners I've been running through my head for days; I can't spoil them all here, but I really loved the interaction about "The Tempest", and the nun gushing over Kierkegaard in the first five minutes.

Above all I was genuinely moved by the affection with which Gerwig shot her hometown. What a lovingly made movie and a world of characters I won't mind revisiting. Great debut film.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#39 Post by McCrutchy » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:23 pm

I saw this today and I liked it a lot. Metcalf is excellent, and I hope she gets an Oscar nomination, but I could see Ronan as a dark horse for scoring another nomination, too. The film for me was really at its best when Lady Bird is with her parents, each of whom she has distinct, fully-realized relationships with. Some supporting characters worked better than others, but most of them were convincing, and happily, a few relationships took unexpected turns. Sadly, a couple don't, and I think the whole Lady Bird
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loses her virginity to a deadbeat saga was a bit too stale and repetitive. It seems like every time that a female character loses her virginity, it has to be disappointing, and almost always accompanied by a loser male partner who lasts ten seconds before he finishes, and shows little if any interest or compassion for what the girl wants or is going through. I understand that this is the probably a very common experience, but it isn't like that for everyone, and it was disappointing to see it in such an otherwise interesting film. Of course, it's tempting to say that the scenario is born out of the American fear of sexual expression, that if Gerwig had showed her characters in a healthy and loving sexual relationship, the film would be viewed as controversial and possibly taboo or worse,
but even so, I think by now, we're all expecting a little more from coming-of-age films in this regard.

And like most people here, I find Gerwig's letters amusing and charming. She has some pretty unique ideas about what kind of "music" Dave Matthews makes, too. Personally, I think it's akin to being sedated before a major surgical procedure, but to each their own.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#40 Post by Black Hat » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:09 pm

I saw this again and yep I full on hate this movie now.

What I've thought a lot about is why I like Wonderstruck, a film perhaps even more corny, and hate Lady Bird? I think it's because Wonderstruck isn't aspiring to be anything except what it is, it even says so in the title where as Lady Bird is masquerading as saying something profound about the experience of a teenage girl, being from a shitty town that you still love cause it's home, mother/daughter relationships, young female friendships, boys, teen sex, going off to college in New York etc, etc. These are all cool topics to explore, but what exactly happened in this movie? Absolutely nothing. I mean Lady Bird always has something clever to say, everything works out for her with very little difficulty and to top it all off just to prove she's perfect she calls her mom to say I love you. Fuck you. I find it highly offensive to portray all these threads in such a milk toast way, not to mention dull.

Nostalgia's a tricky thing because it's nice, it' s comfortable but you can get lost in that shit. I remember Dave Matthews Band being awful, I remember that band being a punch line, I remember clowning the people who were fans, they were the worst and here were are 15 years later adoring a film celebrating that shit? Come on.

I don't find these letters she wrote as cute or nice I find them to be opportunistic. More of this look at how humble, quirky, down to earth and sweet a person I am. It strikes me as wholly disingenuous and to share it with the public this soon really rubs me the wrong way. It's like she's desperate to get every last drop of attention and publicity for her movie.

This brings me to the Terry Gross interview I posted on the previous page a week or so ago, her clear frustration and eventual on the verge of tears (feel sorry for me guys Terry's being mean) 'I just wish we could talk about my work' answer I found to be so woefully lacking under the circumstances. It's like hey Greta maybe not everything is about you and your movie and maybe just maybe you could have some powerful words to say in support of your peers or in condemnation of the perpetrators because you have that platform now. Like you can't be promoting a movie as a woman's story made by a woman and then have nothing to say when women are getting accosted all over place.

To add insult to injury it's because of these revelations this insufferable movie is going to be treated a lot more kindly than it otherwise would have come awards season and Gerwig will make an insufferable speech holding her statue claiming to give a shit about what's happened that will go viral. Child please.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#41 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:13 pm

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#42 Post by swo17 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:59 am

I'd be okay if every reaction in this thread were a reference to 20th Century Women.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#43 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:16 am

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#44 Post by J Adams » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:36 am

Black Hat is even more negatory than me. A real find. I would feel sorry for you if I cared enough to do so. I didn't bother reading your whole post BTW.

I loved this movie. It has some false notes, and arguably tries to cover too many bases (rich/poor; gay/straight; popular/unpopular; fat/thin; pro abortion/pro "life"; religious/nonreligious; West/East; Midwest/Coasts; suburban/urban; employed/unemployed; alcoholic/nonalcoholic; said the spider to the fly, etcetera). But it covers all those bases in a remarkably naturalistic and unstrained way. IN 90 MINUTES.

This would be my favorite film of the year except that I generally prefer a more stylized cinema. Stylization would not be appropriate for this film, but that still takes it down a few notches for me.

To add the requisite sour note. Metcalf's acting is ACTING. Actors can do that. Ronan's acting is acting. Far superior.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#45 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:40 am

It’s nice that Black Hat got into the personal attacks early this time so I knew when to just stop reading the post. This reminds me of when James Mills kept condescendingly calling the director of Winter’s Bone by her first name in his review and was like, lecturing her on set design
J Adams wrote:This would be my favorite film of the year except that I generally prefer a more stylized cinema. Stylization would not be appropriate for this film, but that still takes it down a few notches for me.
This rang true to me, too. If the film is missing anything it’s peobsbly what rubs some people the wrong way about non-commercial cinema and that’s a whole heap of visual panache. But on the other side of that coin, one could argue that it’s shot well for the sort of realism it’s aiming for, while avoiding those handheld pitfalls that some indie directors fall into. The film is lensed and directed confidently if modestly.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#46 Post by Black Hat » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:53 am

J Adams wrote:Black Hat is even more negatory than me. A real find. I would feel sorry for you if I cared enough to do so. I didn't bother reading your whole post BTW.
If this, like Lady Bird, was set in the early 2000s I'd call your post entertaining, almost niche blog worthy. In 2017 however, you sound Presidential so well done there.
J Adams wrote:It has some false notes, religious/nonreligious
Saying this movie 'has some false notes' is like saying ramen is made out of some noodles. The religion bit was another thing that drove me nuts, what the hell is she doing going into a church? There wasn't a lick of religion in the entire movie, don't tell me she went to catholic school, until she randomly strolls in as if she's now found a god she'd lost. It's almost like Gerwig said to herself how can I get more people from the suburbs of Cleveland to like me? I know I'll write in a random church scene so they'll see I'm still a sweet girl from a dumpy town uncorrupted by city heathens.
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the whole thing flashing back and forth between her and her mom driving the car as she read the letter
people have got to be kidding me with this shit... are we really this moribund as a society that something this silly this vapid passes as good in most eyes?

I'm not even going to get into the Sacramento part of it too much much, but for all the praise the film's received for its portrayal of class which along with race has been a long standing issue in cow town Gerwig even manages to put a happy face on that too. People have written how the film is a 'love letter to Sacramento' when to me it felt like an ode to gentrification. I half expected her to shoutout Giuliani & Bloomberg at the end.
Last edited by Black Hat on Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#47 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:56 am

Black Hat wrote:don't tell me she went to catholic school
She went to catholic school.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#48 Post by Black Hat » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:03 am

Mfunk, I've noticed you have a habit of being a smidge dismissive of people who don't fall in the general vicinity of how you see things. It's ok for someone to dislike Greta Gerwig, it's ok for someone not to like Lady Bird and be dumbfound by how many people do. I'm far from the only one.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#49 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:06 am

Ah, all those weird condescending comments are fine now that you linked to one mildly critical piece. You’re entitled to your opinions, just don’t be surprised if some people find your method of expressing them suspect from time to time.

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Re: Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

#50 Post by Black Hat » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:16 am

I'd much prefer you point out what is 'weird', 'condescending', a 'personal attack' etc, etc. so I can understand what you mean by them than merely throwing these labels at whatever I write but that's your call. The way I see it I attacked the film, what it's being praised for, the writer of the film (don't have any problems with her direction) and the way she ran and hid from an interview question.

Just as a side note I wonder what made Terry Gross go after her like that? Gross is very rarely confrontational and for a few minutes she refused to let Gerwig off the hook.

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