Op-Ed: More Great Gerwig, Please

Written for Mosaic by Kitty Williams | Co-Editor-in-Chief

On January 7th, stars were gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the 75th Golden Globes. Natalie Portman and Ron Howard presented the nominees for Best Director. Certainly breaking from the teleprompter in front of her, Portman leaned into the microphone and said, “Here are the all male nominees.”

[Enter Lady Bird]

Greta Gerwig is an actress, screenwriter, and director who is nominated for Best Director for her Best Picture-nominated film Lady Bird. This year she is the only woman in the Best Director category. More shocking is the fact that she is one of five women ever to be nominated for this award.

The other nominees included Lina Mertwuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Kathryn Bigelow. Kathryn Bigelow was the only woman to ever win. She won for her film The Hurt Locker, which was about a bomb disposal team. It also won Best Picture that year.

There’s a trend with Oscar nominated films and that is that they are always about something really dramatic. Often, the main character is going through a really traumatic life experience. In addition, there are car chases, gunfights, and relationships formed and broken.

This is where Lady Bird does something different. It is simply about a high school girl’s relationship with her mother. It also touches on her other relationships in life. One of her past credits as a screenwriter and actress was for Frances, Ha. This film, in a very similar way, focused on two best friends and their evolving relationship through a collection of small moments. Gerwig has a talent for taking ordinary moments and making them important without forcing them to be extraordinary.

Gerwig said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Oscar Nominee Night, “Stop a woman in the street and ask her what her relationship is like with her mother. You won’t get a one word answer.”

Everyone can sit in this movie and see some part of them in a character on screen. It speaks a universal language in the most sincere way. This is the kind of story that needs to be told. This film isn’t the saddest, but it will make a viewer cry if only because they feel understood. If that isn’t deserving of an Oscar, I don’t know what is.

“Different things can be sad. It’s not all war.” –Lady Bird

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