MOVIE REVIEW: Lady Bird (2017)

A cliché-free exploration on the emotional expedition called adolescence, Lady Bird is a tender, colorful and intimate coming-of-age film from the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig.

The 1980s had The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles; the 1990s had Dead Poets Society; the 2000s had Juno; 2010s had The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Boyhood, and joining that prestige list of classic coming-of-age dramas is Lady Bird. Spearheaded by a rather poignant, iconic performance by Saoirse Ronan, the film follows the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan), who’s on her way to finish high school and soon off to college. We all know that phase, don’t we? We all recognize that very specific moment of our lives where we act as if we know everything that’s going to happen and we can’t wait to break free — Gerwig perfectly captures that young adult psyche in her narrative that’s so specific yet speaks universally. It wasn’t just about a teenage girl — everyone will see themselves in the story of the protagonist.

Saoirse Ronan’s performance, whose pink cast on her right arm and messy red hair will forever resonate to our memory, has forever marked a very specific image of a character in cinematic timeline. Her presence vibrates a thousand decibels, that her quirky, off-beat yet lovable persona as the titular character carried the weight of the film effortlessly. Ronan is, without a doubt, one of the best actresses of her generation.

Laurie Metcalf’s performance as Lady Bird’s mother is so universal, she doesn’t only shine a light on Ronan’s character, but also gives credit to all mothers with teenagers in their household. This portrayal reminds me so much of Patricia Arquette’s performance in Boyhood (2014), who epitomized everything about a misunderstood language of maternal love. Metcalf is raw, funny, and has embodied the reality of what and how a mother is.

The film is a love story between a mother and a daughter, whose worlds collide as they both reach that ‘angry teenager and a grumpy fun sucker mom’ phase. The film explored the language of attention as an expression of love. Attention, as we all know it, is what most young adults crave for. Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf) plays an overbearing, oftentimes clingy mom who gives so much attention to her daughter, which ends up rather, as what Lady Bird calls it, “infuriating”. However, that’s just how maternal love is — the involvement of a mother to a teenager’s life. Despite this being unwanted, Lady Bird reciprocates that ‘attention’ through that phone call by the end of the film (no spoilers here) which gives affirmation that attention is love, and that’s what she has ever wanted. There were scenes where her mother was ignoring her — Lady Bird begs for her not to; this suggests that being ignored means being unloved… to teenagers, that is. The film shows how love is interpreted both in the perspectives of a mother, and a teenager.

Overall, the film is easy and charming. It doesn’t drag you onto a dramatic meltdown that every teenager goes through. Despite its theme being very juvenile, it has a sense of maturity to it, as if its narrative is being told by an adult looking back at her young self, where she can now laugh at the silliest mistakes she has done. It doesn’t feel like it overly dwells with the drama; rather, it’s a look back on a “who was I and let’s laugh about it” account.

Simply, one of the best coming-of-age films ever made.

5 out of 5 stars

WATCH: It’s survival of the biggest in new ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ trailer

The new official trailer for Universal Pictures’ 3D epic adventure Pacific Rim: Uprising, the follow-up to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 cinematic epic Pacific Rim, has just arrived online.

Check out the trailer below and watch Pacific Rim: Uprising in Philippine cinemas March 2018.

The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising.

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.

Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious’ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

Pacific Rim Uprising is directed by Steven S. DeKnight (Netflix’s Daredevil, STARZ’s Spartacus) and also stars Jing Tian, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona and Charlie Day.

Pacific Rim: Uprising is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.