Greta Gerwig: Our New VBF

The actor and writer has now directed ‘Lady Bird’, one of the hottest movies around

Greta Gerwig: the kooky, whipsmart lifejacket we need right now. Photograph: Rebecca Smeyne/New York Times

Greta Gerwig: the kooky, whipsmart lifejacket we need right now. Photograph: Rebecca Smeyne/New York Times

 

If you haven’t already let yourself be swept away by the impending Lady Bird love-in, then the next couple of months will be all about two women; Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan. The Gerwig-directed film won the best picture Golden Globe this week, while Ronan picked up the best actress award for her role in the film, which also stars Laurie Metcalf. Lady Bird is currently the highest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes and Oscar season is just around the corner. While we know all about about Ronan, who is Greta Gerwig?

Well, she’s an actor, writer and now director of one of the hottest films around and when you type her name autocorrect spells it Great.

When the film Frances Ha was released in 2012, Gerwig’s performance as Frances Halladay had people go from roaring laughing to shifting uncomfortably in their seats, recognising in her character the awful limbo between kid and adulthood. Except nowadays being a kid has extended to your early 20s and adulthood, or the vile sounding act of “adulting” doesn’t really kick in until you hit your 30s and to see that unfold onscreen, as her friends mock her, was like a swift kick to the stomach and ego.

Directed by her partner Noah Baumbach and written by the pair of them, for those who are still in that limbo, Frances Ha felt all too real and for those who are on the other side – I’m sure those people exist – it was an unnerving throwback. But at least it was just that. A throwback. And not their current reality.

In a lighter tone, Mistress America saw Baumbach and Gerwig pair up again for one of 2015’s undersung cinema heroes. Gerwig plays Brooke, a woman who, on the surface, oozes confidence but in an attempt to gain that confidence, she believes in every word she says, for better or for worse. With an incredible cast (Lola Kirke, Heather Lind), Mistress America took the insecurities of every young person finding their feet in the world and made them feel manageable. It’s on Netflix so add that to your watch list for the weekend.

Through her writing and acting, the deadpan Californian has a real knack in finding the universal faults we see in ourselves and turning them around. In a big, hypothetical sinking ship, she’s that kooky but whipsmart lifejacket we should reach for.

Saoirse Ronan picked up a Golden Glober award in Beverly Hills. Photograph: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
Saoirse Ronan picked up a Golden Glober award in Beverly Hills. Photograph: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

This week we are Unfriending . . . The Saoirse Ronan haters

Good lord, you are but a broken record. Did you not watch her pick up a Golden Gobe award and an Ifta nomination this week? Have you not noticed what an actor she is? Did you not watch Brooklyn over Christmas? Was your bottom lip not quivering the second she got on the boat out of Cobh? Or when she read letters from her sister, did your nose not catch up with the tears rolling out your eyes? No? What sort of robot are you? The criticism she gets for her changing accent is bizarre, especially when most people change their accents depending on whose company they’re in and how much booze they’ve consumed. And she without a telephone voice may certainly cast the first stone but for now, lay off and jog on.

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