Best Picture Nominee: “Lady Bird”

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From left: Saoirse Ronan and Lucas Hedges as Lady Bird McPherson and Danny O'Neill, respectively, in the Greta Gerwig written and directed dramedy “Lady Bird” (2017)

The Greta Gerwig written and directed dramedy “Lady Bird” is one of nine films on the Academy Awards’ nominations list for Best Picture. Does the Gerwig film have a realistic chance of winning out against the other eight productions listed?

Gerwig

Gerwig saw her film pick up the equivalent top category award at the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, the Georgia Film Critics Association Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Houston Film Critics Society Awards, the National Society of Film Critics Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle Awards and the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards. While this is an accomplishment one can be proud of, various other awards of a similar status did not go in Gerwig’s direction.

In addition to the Best Picture statuette, the “Lady Bird” production also picked up nominations for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

Even though there are nine films nominated for the ceremony’s top category production award, only five of the films are represented on the directorial award list.

After the 2008 romantic drama “Nights and Weekends,” “Lady Bird” marks the second time Gerwig took to the directorial chair. In both cases, she wrote the screenplay.

Further to being recognised for her directorial leadership of “Lady Bird,” Gerwig was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Beginning in 2007 with the Joe Swanberg directed romantic dramedy “Hannah Takes the Stairs,” Gerwig’s career as a writer has seen a handful of productions realised. Most recently, with the exception of “Lady Bird,” Gerwig wrote the screenplay and various teleplays for the Noah Baumbach directed “Mistress America” and episodes of the television series “China, IL,” respectively. She was also a contributing writer on the 2014 Rob Greenberg directed television film “How I Met Your Dad.”

“How I Met Your Dad,” the pilot episode for a spin-off from the Carter BaysCraig Thomas co-created “How I Met Your Mother,” failed to impress network executives. Unfortunately for Gerwig, this television production was never released to the public or screened on TV.

Ronan

Recognised for her work in the title role with a nomination for Best Actress, Saoirse Ronan has proven she is more than capable of carrying a major film of this magnitude.

Beginning with the Orla Bleahen-Melvin / Lilie Ferrari co-created television series “The Clinic,” Ronan’s acting career encompasses such titles as “Atonement” (2007), “City of Ember” (2008), “The Lovely Bones” (2009), “Hanna” (2011), “The Host” (2013) and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014).

This is not the first time Ronan has seen her work recognised with an Academy Awards nomination. For her portrayal of the 13-year-old Briony Tallis in the 2007 Joe Wright directed period romantic drama “Atonement,” Ronan was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Even though there is no doubt the young actress eloquently presented the character to the best of the ability, Ronan was unfortunately pipped to the golden statuette by Tilda Swinton for her portrayal of Karen Crowder in the Tony Gilroy written and directed period crime drama “Michael Clayton.”

Eight years later, with the release of the 2015 John Crowley directed “Brooklyn,” Ronan was recognised for her portrayal of Ellis with a nominated for Best Actress. Again, like that seen with the previous nomination the actress garnered, Ronan saw competing actress Marion Cotillard win for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in the Olivier Dahan directed biographical period musical “La Môme.”

Ronan has already successfully won the Best Actress award her work on “Lady Bird” from the Golden Globe Awards, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Denver Film Critics Society, the Georgia Film Critics Association, the Indiana Film Journalists Association, the Iowa Film Critics’ Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Seattle Film Critics Society and Vancouver Film Critics Circle.

With this level of accomplishment, although Ronan was not successful in picking up either of the Academy Awards she had been nominated for at previous awards ceremonies, third time could possibly be the charm for the New York born actress.

The actress is currently working on “The Seagull,” “Mary Queen of Scots” and “Sweetness in the Belly,” all of which are scheduled for release late this year. Despite the actress having developed a reputation for quality work, one has to question whether the people responsible for casting the Josie Rourke directed biographical period drama “Mary Queen of Scots” could find a Scottish actress to play Mary Stuart. The casting department clearly did not look long or hard enough for a Scottish actress.

Metcalf

Further to Ronan picking up a nomination for Best Actress for her work on “Lady Bird,” in the Supporting Actress category, Laurie Metcalf was recognised for her portrayal of Marion McPherson.

People familiar with the “Toy Story” franchise will Metcalf gave voice to Andy’s Mom, Mrs. Davis, for three animated features. This is a role the actress has reprised for the 2019 scheduled “Toy Story 4.”

Beginning in 1978 with an uncredited appearance as a Maid in the Robert Altman directed “A Wedding,” Metcalf’s acting career has seen the actress work on numerous television productions inclusive of the series “The Equalizer,” “The Jackie Thomas Show,” “King of the Hill,” “Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man” and of course the long running situation comedy “Roseanne.”

If you have been paying attention to entertainment news, there is a fairly good chance you will know “Roseanne” is returning to television screens later this year with an all new season. Metcalf is reprising the character Jackie Harris, a role she played in the original situation comedy for nine seasons.

With Mary J. Blige, Allison Janney, Lesley Manville and Octavia Spencer also nominated for the same golden statuette, picking up the Best Supporting Actress award will not be the cake walk Metcalf would hope.

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