By Mike Stevenson
I finally saw Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird at a matinee show yesterday. Loved it.
I enjoy going to the movies at weekday afternoon shows. The theater is usually near-empty, tickets are a bit cheaper, and I usually sneak in a glass of wine and a bite to eat. I don’t mind being alone for a movie – in fact I think I prefer it. We form a relationship – just me and the film. I offer the movie a sip of wine and nibble of cheese. She politely says, “No, you have it.”
A few thoughts about Lady Bird:
- I was so blown-away by the inclusion of the John Hartford song “The Eve of Parting” in the movie. Hartford has been a favorite of mine since my late twenties, when a used-record store purchase satisfied my curiosity about the brilliant composer of the classic “Gentle On My Mind.” It’s always a bit disconcerting when a popular movie or tv show features an obscure tune or artist that belongs secretly to you (or is this a me thing?) “Curse the thought of your existence… Loving every flaxon hair…” wow. Hartford was such a great lyricist. Is it selfish of me not to want to share John Hartford with the masses ? Probably.
- Lois Smith is really excellent in a small supporting role as Sister Sarah Joan. I wonder if young Saoirse Ronan chatted with the octogenarian actress about her experience acting with James Dean in 1956 East of Eden?
Like most guys my age, I was crazy about all three of James Dean’s movies, especially East of Eden, and I was smitten with Lois Smith in her very small role as the saloon girl (she sweetly says to Dean/Cal, “Yer just a kid, ain’t ya?”) Here’s Lois Smith’s screen test with Jimmy. She is strikingly beautiful here, at about the same age as Saoirse Ronan is today.
- Lady Bird’s mom – Laurie Metcalf – steals the movie and will a Best Supporting Actor award. She made me cry, and I love to cry alone at the movies.
One thought on “Lady Bird, John Hartford and Jimmy Dean”
I agree with you about “The Eve of Parting.” I had never heard it before, but it set me on learning about John Hartford. I found a two CD set that comprised five of his early albums, and included “The Eve of Parting” in Australia. I bought it despite the cost.
Haunting lyrics against an appropriate melody delivered with a rich baritone voice—I love it.
I was sure the movie would get Best Picture at the Oscars.