Once recognised as an actor ubiquitous with the influential mumblecore movement, writer and director Greta Gerwig has climbed the ranks of the filmmaking industry through the 21st century to establish her position among the most pertinent directors of the modern era.
After finding success with screenplays for Frances Ha and Mistress America, Gerwig has since been showered with awards for her directorial efforts for Lady Bird and Little Women starring Florence Pugh, Emma Watson and Timothée Chalamet.
In both Lady Bird and Little Women, Gerwig’s most celebrated film efforts, the filmmaker shows off staggering storytelling skills, balancing delicate relationships in tales on adolescent transition. Whilst her 2017 film Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan feels like a distinctly personal tale, surprisingly Gerwig reported in a New York Film Festival press conference: “Nothing in the movie literally happened in my life, but it has a core of truth that resonates with what I know”.
A story that remains close to her heart, Greta Gerwig was inspired by the stories of other young people, as well as the seminal coming-of-age film The 400 Blows from François Truffaut to Mike Leigh’s intricate family drama Secrets and Lies. Sharing a similar delicate subtlety, you can sense why the films of Truffaut and Leigh resonated so deeply with Greta Gerwig, with the filmmaker suffusing Lady Bird with nuanced moments that nicely echo both filmmakers’ influence.
A purveyor of modern cinema, Greta Gerwig keeps her finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest upcoming filmmakers, noting Barry Jenkins, the director of the Oscar-winning Moonlight, as one of her favourite filmmakers. Jenkins’ modern classic had a profound effect on Gerwig, who stated in an interview with W Magazine, “Moonlight made me cry, there were a few moments where I cried”.
Continuing, Gerwig explained the exact moment she cried in the film, explaining: “It’s in the middle section where he comes over to Janelle Monáe’s house and he tries to make the bed and she’s like ‘You’re terrible at making the bed, I know what you’re doing, you just make it badly so I’ll come in and do it’”.
Elaborating on the emotional gravity of the scene, she adds, “She’s like, ‘you and Juan are the same,’ and you know he’s gone, it’s just like this moment that’s so human and so delicate. Every time I think about it, it makes me cry. It’s a beautiful film”.
Having earned her status as one of the most culturally important directors currently working in the industry, Greta Gerwig’s latest project is due to be a story inspired by the classic Mattel doll, Barbie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. With a screenplay written by both Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, get ready for a contemporary twist on the identity of the Barbie character and another classic from one of Hollywood’s finest minds.