Movies: Lady Bird, The Last Flag, The Florida Project

Lady Bird

This film is arguably the best coming of age story in quite some time.  Greta Gerwig is the Director and wrote the Screenplay for this intelligent and touching story about a teenage girl growing up in Sacramento.  Her Mom works extra shifts to off set the income loss when her husband loses his job.

Saoirse Ronan is brilliant as the teenage Lady Bird McPherson.  Laurie Metcalf shines as Lady Bird’s Mom.  Tracy Letts plays the Dad.  There are a total of 57 actors, mostly representing students and staff in the Catholic High School.

The result is an insightful film about a family in evolution. This is Oscar material so try and see it if possible.  Its genre is listed as a Drama/Comedy.  It is rated R for language, sexual content, brief nudity and teen partying.  It runs 1 hour, 33 minutes.

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Last Flag Flying

This is an extraordinary film about three aging Marines who served in Vietnam, coming together years later to bury “Doc’s” son killed in Iraq.  It becomes a bittersweet and cathartic experience for all of them.

It is the latest work by Director Richard Linklater that prompts reflection on all wars in recent history.  It is at the same time witty and poignant, emotional and quirky.  Ultimately, it is a painful reminder of war and rememberance.

The a-list cast includes Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Yul Vazquez and relative newcomer Dontez James.  There is also a cameo performance by Cicely Tyson.

It is listed as a Drama/Comedy and rated R for language and some sexual references.  Run time is 2 hours, 4 minutes.

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The Florida Project

First, the critics loved this film.  We did not.  It is really about the impoverished underclass living on a week to week basis in low budget motels near the famed Disney World park.

That said, the acting was excellent, especially the children.  Willem Defoe delivers a career best performance.  6 year old Brooklynn Prince is brillant.  Bria Vinaite is amazing as the Mom.

Overall, the film is concurrently thought provoking, intense and heartbreaking.  The world the children create for themselves is filled with imagination, adventure and discovery.  They are unaware of their plight.

The parents, mostly Moms, struggle daily to make a little money, not always legally, to sustain their basic needs.  There are moments of joy and laughter but the undercurrent of poverty and despair is unmistakable.

The film is rate R for language, disturbing behavior, sexual references and drug material.  The genre is noted as a Drama.  Run time is 113 minutes.

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