Women make up 7% of directors (Hollywood Reporter), how is that even possible?! How are so few female stories being told by women! Written by women, directed by women, stared in by women. People have been aware of this disparity for a while now, but it still seems to be changing at a excruciatingly slow rate.
I discovered that my favorite movie of all time, An Education (an amazing coming of age story that tells the tale of romantic disillusionment), was directed by Lone Scherfig, a Danish female filmmaker. We also have Sofia Coppola, who only this year directed the aesthetically pleasing movie, The Beguiled. And I think the biggest misunderstanding, the biggest oversight Hollywood has, is thinking a market for these movies doesn’t exist. Well, there is a hunger. A starvation! I’m absolutely famished for movies that display stories of women by women. I would spend all my money going to see them.
Greta Gerwig continues to fascinate and amaze me. Like most millennial liberals, I’ve seen Frances Ha more times than I can count. In it, Gerwig plays a 3 dimensional female character (which I never take for granted, because it never is) who journeys through very real and relatable quandaries. She’s quirky, strange, troubled, hopeful, and confused, all without falling into overplayed archetypes like the manic pixie dream girl. So, when I heard she would be directing her own movie, I was absolutely thrilled. I expected nothing less than a Frances Ha esque masterpiece. I was not disappointed.
I regularly spend time in Sacramento, the setting and running theme of Lady Bird. I was able to watch the movie in Tower theater, which is subsequently featured in the film. I promise, however, I did not go all the way there just for this (I’m not that much of a crazy fan).
I haven’t cried in a movie for a very long time, but I did in this one. Lady Bird isn’t even particularly sad. I cried during this movie and was so moved by it because I saw myself on screen. The story parallels mine in such a way, I wonder if it is somehow about me (ha). Feeling this way, unambiguously understood, is a feeling I wish for all. This is not a review, per say and I don’t want to tell too much about the movie, as you should go watch it immediately! But, I do want to say, I find great sadness in how rarely I see strong, realistic female icons on screen. I am white and privileged in many a way. If I have trouble relating to popular characters, I can’t imagine how it is for other minorities.
Seeing a punk-wannabe, crash dieting, love failing, awkward, c-straight, peculiar, spirited girl on screen, made me happy beyond belief. This movie was made for me (I don’t care how strange and cocky that sounds).