“Ladybird” is One of the Year’s Best Films

By | November 21, 2017

Greta Gerwig pulls off a stunning achievement with “Ladybird,” which at first looks like a strong coming-of-age story, but might actually be the first epic about millennial life…[Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” might actually have this title, but Ellar Coltrane is only 23 years old and may actually be too young to be considered a millennial.]

What Works: Every detail works here, from the music choices to the richly nuanced mother/daughter relationship to “Ladybird”‘s romantic woes. [I hate to admit this, but her senior prom is like a gender-flipped version of my own experience.] Although the setting is distinctly Sacramento, this could just as easily have been Kansas or Long Island or, yes, Alabama. Laurie Metcalf (who in a just world would’ve easily won an Emmy for HBO’s “Getting On”) is a shoe-in for a Best Supporting Actress nomination as a money strapped, tough-love but still loving mother under too much economic stress to coddle and/or empathize with her daughter. [Ferocious debates may ensue as to whether she’s right or wrong to be so negative about her daughter’s future prospects.] And the always-excellent Saoirse Ronan is just as good, here adopting an impressive American accent, and (eventually) experiencing a New York journey that’s the polar opposite of the one her character in “Brooklyn” did.

What Doesn’t: [Crickets]

What I Would’ve Done Differently: It’s not really explained why Ladybird has a Mexican brother, and his character (along with his girlfriend) could’ve been easily removed if the film were too long, but at a scant 95 minutes, it really isn’t. In fact, this might be the rare film that could’ve benefitted from being longer, as you might find yourself wanting to spend just a few more minutes with these characters and finding out what happens to some of Ladybird’s friends or love interests.

One thought on ““Ladybird” is One of the Year’s Best Films

  1. Betty

    Good review. You should be doing this review bit for some of these talk shows. Some of the people reviewing don’t know what is what with movies.

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