Greta Gerwig has recently achieved the accomplishment of the biggest box opening weekend for a female director with Barbie. But who is Greta Gerwig? And from where has her directorial star risen from?
Greta Gerwig has recently released her newest movie: Barbie. And of course, the pink, sparkly, Margot Robbie-led film has achieved commercial success with a historic $155 million opening for Barbie at the box office, the largest box office opening weekend for a female director ever.
The blonde, youthful director is 39 this year, making her a particularly young, newcomer director in a mostly male-dominated industry. As if that’s not enough, she’s only solo-directed a few movies, all of which have garnered great reviews. Read on to find out more about this extraordinary director.
[Hero and featured image credit: Barbie / IMDb]
So who is Greta Gerwig?
Greta Gerwig was born in Sacramento, California and started off as an actress, before anything. She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in English and Philosophy but dabbled in film outside of class. Quite interestingly, actress and comedian Kate McKinnon was a fellow student and friend of Gerwig in college.
In 2006, Gerwig started acting in films such as LOL and Baghead, in minor roles. Then, in 2007 and 2008, she started to write, demonstrating her abilities with Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007) and Nights and Weekends (2008). Note that on both of these films she was writing with Joe Swanberg who had cast her in LOL. All of the films she was involved in were fairly small projects, and she built up her industry experience during that time.
Gerwig then met future husband, director Noah Baumbach, in 2010, by starring in his film Greenberg with Ben Stiller. From there on out, her claim to fame through acting steadily started to climb. She was a cast in and appeared in several series before, co-writing and starring in Frances Ha in 2013. Her performance as Frances Ha received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
By 2017, Gerwig made her directorial debut with Lady Bird starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Timothee Chalamet among other actors. Lady Bird launched Gerwig into stardom as Lady Bird was named by the American Film Institute and Time magazine as one of the top ten films of 2017.
And the rest is…directorial history.
What are the movies Greta Gerwig has solo-directed?
These are movies which credit Gerwig as the sole director. Of course, she’s had a co-director credit under her belt as well, but we’re only counting the movies that she’s directed alone for this article.
Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut is Lady Bird (which she also wrote the script for). Released by A24 in 2017, the movie is about a 17-year-old in Sacramento, California, who deals with everything from a broken arm, to boy problems, to screaming arguments with her mother. It’s set in 2002, and offers viewers moments from those nostalgic, awkward teen years some will simultaneously laugh at and tear up over.
Lady Bird turned out to be a huge success, releasing to wide critical acclaim and a box office total of $79 million; not bad for a first time solo-director and an indie film company. People related with the themes of growing up, and most especially, the theme of mother-daughter relationships that Gerwig hits particularly hard in this film.
If you have nothing to do, just marvel at the humid-feeling cinematography or Timothee Chalamet’s weirdly charming lankiness in this film.
Almost immediately after Lady Bird, Gerwig landed a big one with Little Women. She both wrote and directed it, like with Lady Bird, but this time she had a star-studded cast including Saoirse Ronan (again), Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Timothee Chalamet (again).
Little Women is an adaptation from the Little Women novel written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868. Gerwig’s adaptation is the seventh such film adaptation of the novel about the lives of four sisters. Little Women also received rave reviews, earning six Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe Award nominations.
If you’re interested in reliving life in the 1800’s, pretending you’re Emma Watson in era-appropriate clothing, and donning a silly hat, feast your eyes on Little Women.
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‘Barbie’ Movie Review: Greta Gerwig Gets Her Hattrick, Ryan Gosling Steals The Show
Everyone knows about Barbie, so do we really have to introduce this one to you? Pink, sparkly, and starring as-always-beautiful Margot Robbie and a Ken-ified Ryan Gosling, Barbie has captured the attention of fans all over the world. It opened to a whopping $155 million at the box office, cementing Gerwig as the director with the largest box opening weekend for a female director in history.
So far, people have enjoyed Barbie and its colourful antics, not to mention, Gerwig’s own smart cultural and societal takes which build up the backbone of the plot. It can’t be argued, either, that Mattel’s incredible marketing campaign, as well as Barbenheimer didn’t help Barbie appeal to a wide audience.
Whether you’re planning on that double feature with Oppenheimer, or satiating the pink-hungry needs of your children, Barbie is a wondrously glamorous time.
What’s next for Gerwig?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, there are rumours that Gerwig is set to write and direct at least two film adaptations of the beloved book series Narnia by C.S Lewis. Netflix will reportedly be streaming the adaptations, but news on the films are very secretive and no one truly knows what direction Gerwig will take the franchise in.
Whatever and however it is, Gerwig’s star has only been rising thus far. And we don’t expect it to drop anytime soon.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok