Why you have to watch Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut

Why you have to watch Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut

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Text: Esther Soh

Image: Facebook | Michelle Monaghan,
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From indie star to Oscar-nominated director, Greta Gerwig’s idiosyncratic voice shines through with her first solo masterpiece, Lady Bird

1. Greta Gerwig knows how to tell stories about relationships
The 34-year-old director has a knack of talking her way into your heart. From her arty and hipster project Nights and Weekends in 2008 to her singular tale about the trials and tribulations of an archetypical teenager in Lady Bird, Gerwig constantly strips her stories back to raw, honest scenes that are spoken with daring originality and occasional thrusts of wit and humour. Hats off to Gerwig's micro-budget, fearless approach that brings out the blunt truth that's often absent in typical, run-off-the-mill blockbusters.

 2. She understands actors, because she is one
We can't neglect Gerwig's enhanced sensitivity towards her cast because she's stood in their shoes before. While she has had her fair share of co-directing and writing with Noah Baumbach in the 2010 film Greenberg, Gerwig also articulated the puzzling thoughts of the generation of women who feel neglected by the Hollywood stereotype in Frances Ha and Mistress America. She was also slated to be the mother in the How I Met Your Mother spin-off which unfortunately never took off.

3. Her fictional creation parallels her own life
Just like the titular character who's a senior at a Catholic high school in Sacramento, Gerwig also happens to be a Sacramento native who graduated from the city's St. Francis High School 15 years back. But before you call this film an autobiography, Gerwig is quick to correct you. "Even though it isn't literally autobiographical, there's a core of emotional truth that's very resonant," said Gerwig in an interview.

4. Lady Bird is not your typical Hollywood coming-of-age chick flick
Gerwig doesn't bring a polished heroine to life  not at least without hormonal acne, self-dyed pink hair or thrift store clothes that are under five dollars. In Lady Bird, she tackles the not-so-uncommon truths around the erosion of the lower-middle class, engaging in perpetual warfare with mothers and self-discovery.

5. Her solo directorial debut, Lady Bird, is also her first masterpiece
It says a lot to be coined as the fifth woman in history to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards. As an underdog that charms, surprises and overshadows everything else, Gerwig's career is finally propelling into exciting new heights with Lady Bird. We wouldn't want to miss out on Gerwig's affectionate rumination on the mother-daughter dynamic in this film.

Lady Bird arrives in theatres on 22 February.
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