In a world where directors are auteurs and those auteurs are usually men, it is nearly a miracle that any female director could be a household name. Well, thank God for Greta Gerwig, because she has turned the industry upside down. To the public, it seemed as though she came out of nowhere but behind the scenes, Greta Gerwig has been climbing the ladder with a hammer in her pocket hellbent on shattering the glass ceiling.
Gerwig is most well known for her directorial debut, Lady Bird, which premiered November 2017 in the US. The film took home several golden globes and was nominated for five academy awards, including best director. Gerwig is currently wrapping up shooting on a 2019 incarnation of Lousia May Alcott’s Little Women. She is also set to potentially direct a live-action Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie.
Where did this newly ascended Queen of the Cinema Screen first get her start? Surprisingly, it was in acting. What better way to learn to direct other actors than by first directing yourself. Honestly, her background in acting is most likely a huge influence on Gerwig’s own directing style. Oh, but did I forget to mention that she is also a writer? Gerwig herself wrote the script for Lady Bird.
Her directing style shook the world. Lady Bird had a unique pacing and story structure. The film also gave the majority of its time to character development and arcs rather than plot. You could almost imagine that you were listening to your new friend relay the events that led her to meet you. It is intimate, personal, and with purpose. Gerwig dares to challenge us to reach further with our art, to test the boundaries of structure and store, and to dare to tell deeply personal stories that matter.