Monday, July 20, 2020

Believe Care Invest: Lady Bird

Why Lady Bird might be hard to identify with:
  • She’s bratty. Her mom asks “How did I raise such a snob?” She’s a little racist to her Latino brother.
  • She begins by saying: “Do you think I look like I came from Sacramento?” We’ve never heard it put in quite that way, but we instantly identify: We’ve all wondered if our hometown leaves a taint on us. (Think about how terrible the generic version would be: “One day I’m going to make it out of this town and be somebody!”)
  • One thing that could fall under both Believe and Care: She’s strident about things she’s wrong about. Again, we empathize, because we all remember what it was like to be precocious. She seems believably 17, moreso than most screen teens.
  • Her mom is emotionally abusive: “You’re not even worth state tuition. Just go to city college, with your work ethic. Just go to city college, and then to jail, and then back to city college.” But she’s also accurate in some ways (“You don’t think about anybody but yourself,”) so it hits home.
  • She pretends to know who Jim Morrison is when flirting with a guy, which is the sort of thing that always makes us wince with identification.
  • She certainly does something active to protect herself from her mother’s verbal abuse, but it’s not exactly the cleverest solution: She jumps out of the moving car. Cut to a pink cast that has “Fuck you mom” written on it. So she’s kind of bad ass in a very hapless way.
  • We admire her gumption. She runs for student government knowing she won’t win, and makes cool posters. She tries out for the musical with no experience and she’s the only one who dresses up.
  • We admire her wit, although sometimes when she thinks she’s intentionally and unintentionally funny at the same time.
Five Es
  • Eat: She and the family have eggs. She and her friend wolf down communion wafers.
  • Exercise: Other than jumping out of the car, no. We don’t even see her in gym class in the school montage.
  • Economic Activity: Lots of class resentment. Eventually she will get a job at a coffee shop.
  • Enjoy: She and her mom share a good cry as they finish the audiobook of “Grapes of Wrath”. She and her friend giggle and talk about masturbation.
  • Emulate: She and her friend look at models in a magazine and say, “Why can’t I look like that.” They imagine what life would be like if they lived in a nice house. They say of a classmate: “She’s so pretty, her skin is luminous, we should try tanning.”
Rise above
  • She will later ignore her coffeeshop customers to hit on one guy and comfort another.
High five a black guy
  • Just the opposite: She’s a little bit racist towards her adopted Latino brother.

No comments: