8.5/10 I love this time of year at the theater because the much higher quality films are finally starting to trickle in. Case in point is a film that I was actually pretty skeptical about. I have very mixed feelings about Greta Gerwig. I think she is a talented actress but I feel like she has played very similar roles in most of the films I have seen her in. So when I heard she was making her directorial debut with a semi-autobiographical film, I was worried that it would be a pretentious, trying so hard to be unique/quirky, misunderstood rebel tale (see “Garden State”) that I wondered if the film even appealed to me. Well after having watched the film I can happily say how wrong I was. This film is a coming of age tale about a teenage girl but deals with universal themes that everyone can relate to. The protagonist’s personality is a bit quirky but in more of an endearing way and not annoying as I once feared. These characters feel very real (probably because they are loosely based on real people) and their experiences very human. The script is well written and has moments that made me laugh out loud and raw moments that got my eyes a little watery. Instead of making the entire movie all about our lead actress, sufficient time is given to her family, friends, teachers, love interests, etc. to where the character development is greatly balanced and fleshed out. Supporting characters don’t just feel like they are in the film to only support our lead (see Lily James as the love interest in “Baby Driver”) but instead are there are their own, developed, important characters whom shape this world. Saoirse Ronan gives one of her best performances to date and I still think she is an underrated actress, despite her multiple terrific performances in high quality films. The entire cast is strong (Lucas Hedges is one to keep an eye on in the future) but it is definitely Ronan whom deservedly steals the show. The ending was great but a little too abrupt for my taste and the lead character’s chubby friend felt slightly clichéd at moments but these are all minor flaws. Overall, this is one of the biggest surprises I have had this year in theaters and think that all kinds of people could get a lot out of this wonderful film so check it out.

#RonanTheContrarian / #SacreMemento / #LadyBirdsEyeView / #TheLovelyBoned / #ManTesterByTheGlee / #McGodPheringson

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