|Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird|
For those who haven't heard, director Greta Gerwig's film Lady Bird is good. If you trust my opinion, I would say it's best of the year good. Many people have been clamoring onto it in recent weeks, and it has gained some serious traction during awards season as well with many predicting a third Oscar nomination for lead Saoirse Ronan. For those that don't believe the phenomenon of this indie darling, one simply needs to check the box office and critical stats. Lady Bird has grossed over $10 million without playing yet on more than 800 screens. As of today, it also is the highest rated film in Rotten Tomatoes history. Some may disagree on how good it actually is, but the numbers have given it a rare achievement, and one that is worthy of celebration.
This coming of age movie has struck a chord with a lot of audiences. While the recent release of Call Me By Your Name has given the film a run for its specialty box office money, Lady Bird's ability to connect with audiences has created an impressive reputation that could and should predict plenty of Oscar nominations in the near future. As of this publication, the film has earned $10.7 million over only 24 days (three of those in "wide" release of 791 theaters). It's an impressive feat given its limitations, and one is sure to expect to see it elsewhere in the weeks ahead, possibly even crossing the 1,000 theater mark if the buzz holds up.
While the film's success is itself a welcomed Oscar season surprise, the film deserves credit for doing an unexpected achievement. It is the highest rated film in Rotten Tomatoes history. This may sound farcical given its somewhat niche subject matter. However, it has garnered 165 positive reviews, giving it a 100% approval rating. The previous record was held by Toy Story 2, which was just two shy at 163 reviews. It is part of a special club along with the documentary Man on Wire and the Mia Hansen-Love film Things To Come. Even if this doesn't necessarily parallel immediate box office success, this will hopefully give the film a little more marketing levity as it gains more attention.
Gerwig herself gave a moment to comment on the film's achievement:
“This is completely amazing and so incredibly appreciated by the entire team that made Lady Bird. We put our heart and souls into this movie, and the last step of this deeply collaborative art form of film making is giving the film to the audience and the film critics. That there has been such a warm reception is a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who has seen the film and has written about it so thoughtfully. We are all on cloud nine and using our tomato emoji more than we ever thought possible.”
Only time will tell how well the film will do over this awards season. Still, it has had quite an impressive first month - and it's not even over yet. Maybe the awards season will look more favorably on the film than what's initially being prognosticated. Who knows. For now, Lady Bird is the feel good movie of the season, and it's worth checking out if you haven't already. Even then, it's worth checking out again before the season gets too busy in just a week or two. In closing, I want to say congratulations to everyone who worked on the film. I loved it so much, and I'm glad to see that it has touched the hearts of so many others out there.