Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut shows how she truly understands the innocence of growing up. This is the type of coming of age film that I love because these types of films are always so relatable. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf’s chemistry in this movie is near perfect and all the supporting roles were all acted at the same caliber. This mother-daughter relationship shows how love doesn’t need to be displayed to be present. I have always praised Saoirse’s acting but this film is just proof of how she is one of the best actress’ right now.  I was also pleasantly surprised at how great Timonthee Chalamet was in this movie, and paired with Lucas Hedges they were fantastic supporting characters. The purpose of their characters were to help Lady Bird learn and grow and they did that perfectly. Beanie Feldstein was also very good and her character did a great job of keeping Lady Bird grounded throughout the movie. Although there were a few cliche moments in this film, they can be forgiven because of the great acting and cinematography present throughout the whole film. The cinematography was not as audacious as some of the recent films that I have seen, but due to the simplicity of it the movie was breathtakingly beautiful. By stating multiple times that she hates Sacramento Lady Bird shows that she has a love-hate relationship with the town, and when she is in New York City she finally realizes that she does in fact love her hometown. It depicts perfectly how people dislike what is known, and idealize the unknown. Lady Bird constantly expresses her individuality and awareness throughout the film and as a result it leads to her idealizing New York and becoming an adult. This is of typical teenage manner and it also leads to impulses which sometimes hurt other people, but it was necessary for Lady Bird to grow and find herself and she knew that the people she hurt would be okay.

The Place Beyond the Pines

This was one of the rare truly great thrillers that I have seen. As a result, this is one of the few Ryan Gosling performances that I genuinely like. When he was robbing the banks and yelling it was done so well that you could feel anger and worry at the same time. When he was pleading with Eva Mendes’ character to take the money it showed longing and want. These two aspects of his character helped add a lot of depth to the movie. The beginning of the film in which he was in was amazing. Then when Bradley Cooper took over, it was quite frankly not at the same level of acting. Bradley Cooper’s character aggravated me a lot (which I guess was the point). If they had cast differently for his part it could’ve elevated the movie’s status exponentially. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t amazing like the rest of the cast was. On the other hand Dane Dehaan and Emery Cohen both gave amazing performances. I’ve never really liked Dane in any of his films that I have previously seen, but this film greatly changed my opinion of him. The plot’s beginning and ending were amazing, but the middle was so-so. I strongly feel that Cooper was not the right choice for his role and as a result he annoyed me for a lot of the movie. One of the only parts where he was extraordinary was when he was in his forest begging to know if his son was alive. It showed how Cooper could of acted the whole movie, but unfortunately he only acted like that for a brief part of it. The plot and the characters in general were amazing and the cinematography was beautiful. In particular, the shots at the beginning of the movie of Gosling’s character on the motorcycle in the circular cage were visually very appealing.

The Florida Project

Honestly this movie was amazing. It had me crying and laughing almost simultaneously. I loved the cinematography and the use of pastels. William Dafoe’s character was amazing and paired with Brooklynn Prince’s character they brought the script to life. This film portrayed the innocence of a child so well, that even I ignored some details due to the fantastic acting and then when they came back later on in the movie I felt very naive. Overall the plot was very cohesive and there weren’t that many major plot holes or flaws. At first the final scene seemed rather anticlimactic to me, but once I understood what it meant I realized how truly beautiful it was.