With only two solo directorial credits to her credit, Greta Gerwig has quickly become one of the most respected filmmakers working today. His 2017 coming-of-age drama “Lady Bird” was an instant teen classic upon release, and his 2019 adaptation of “Little Women” received similar rave reviews and became the definitive film version of the classic book. In July, after an agonizing three-year wait and starring role in “White Noise,” Gerwig returns to theaters as director with Twitter’s most anticipated film of the year. “Barbie” is a colorful studio comedy based on Mattel’s classic dolls, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the titular Barbie and her heartthrob Ken. (He’s just Ken!)
Gerwig might not be the obvious director to choose to bring the thematically spiky Barbie universe to theaters; Prior to “Lady Bird,” Gerwig was best known as an actor in small independent films and made her directorial debut with 2008’s “Nights and Weekends” alongside Joe Swanberg. She gained more fame when she began working with her partner Noah Baumbach on films such as “Greenberg,” “Mistress America” and “Frances Ha,” the last of which earned Gerwig her first Golden Globe nod. But these classy Indians are still far from the promise of the studio comedy “Barbie,” which makes Gerwig and Baumbach’s role as co-writers in the film at least intriguing.
Still, when you look at the films that Gerwig has publicly proclaimed as her influences and favorites, this particular pairing of director and film starts to make more sense. Gerwig has a broad taste in her favorite movies, and her influences range from old Hollywood classics to mega-popular teen romances.
Her credits include Sight & Sound’s all-time number one, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, as well as acclaimed classics such as the heartbreaking British romance Brief Encounter and Singin ” technicolor musical. ‘ in the rain.” But she’s not afraid to shout out a nostalgic ’80s classic, like John Hughes’ “Pretty in Pink,” which helped inspire parts of “Lady Bird.”
Here, in no particular order, are 10 films that Gerwig has mentioned as some of her favorites over the years.
(Editor’s note: This article was first published in April 2023. It will be updated over time.)
“Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” (1975)
In 2017, while promoting her starring role in Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women, Gerwig spoke IndieWire and Movies on Demand on his selection for his favorite movie of all time. She was the first to choose a three-hour slice of the life of Chantal Akerman about the everyday life of a housewife, and it was one of the defining films of feminist cinema. Gerwig was ahead of her time when she first cast “Jeanne Dielman”; In 2022, Sight & Sound Magazine named it the best film of all time in a critics’ decade-by-decade poll.
“Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)
Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly’s beloved musical comedy “Singin’ in the Rain” is the type of film that continues to inspire dozens of directors decades after its release; look at “Babylon” director Damien Chazelle, for example. Gerwig is also a fan of the legendary musical, calling it another favorite in interviews with IndieWire and Movies on Demand; we’re guessing he learned those “Barbie” musical numbers on film.
“Rio Bravo” (1959)
One of Gerwig’s cinematic loves, which isn’t necessarily immediately apparent after her work, is John Wayne’s westerns, especially those made with Howard Hawks. The pair’s 1959 classic, “Rio Bravo,” was another selection he made during an interview with IndieWire and Movies on Demand, calling it a movie he “wants to live in,” saying that “those movies now we don’t make it”.
“Red River” (1948)
Another Howard Hawks-John Wayne collaboration Gerwig mentioned in an interview with IndieWire and Movies on Demand, “Red River” stars Wayne as a rancher who manages a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas and the feud he has with his son (Montgomery Clift). develops.
In a 2012 interview The Solution, Gerwig called Wayne one of her “fascinations” in cinema and singled out his performance in “Red River” as her favorite: “Mentally, I find him almost different from film to film. He can be very scary in movies like Red River or very gentle. I love how much time he takes on everything; it really takes your damn time to walk or talk.
“The 39 Steps” (1935)
Another IndieWire and Movies on Demand shoutout, Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic British thriller earned particular praise from Gerwig, who called it “perhaps one of the most perfect movies ever made.” The Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll spy film, about an innocent man hoping to clear his name of murder, Gerwig says is great: “not because of the scope of the film … it’s just these little details that are like, oh no!”
“Brief Encounter” (1945)
A classic cinematic heartbreaker, David Lean’s Brief Encounter tells the story of two married people (Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard) who fall in love but are too loyal to their spouses to commit to a full-fledged affair. In an interview with IndieWire and Movies on Demand, Gerwig called the British film “the most romantic movie ever made.”
The King of Comedy (1982)
Todd Phillips isn’t the only director in Hollywood whose favorite Martin Scorcese movie is “The King of Comedy.” 1982’s “The King of Comedy,” starring Robert De Niro as a demented comedian and famously influencing 2019’s “Joker,” was the last film Gerwig cited as a favorite in interviews with IndieWire and Movies on Demand .
“One More Year” (2010)
Another Year by Mike Leigh, also a favorite of Ari Aster, tells the story of a middle-aged couple during a year of their lives. In a 2013 interview to promote “Frances Ha,” Gerwig said she loved the film and called it an influence she and Baumbach had on writing the script for their film.
“I love that movie; great, this is the best. The way it’s divided into seasons — that’s what gave us the inspiration to break the movie into parts of where he lived,” Gerwig said. “What I really like about the film is how time has passed. You can kind of guess what happened between the two parts. I just thought it was a wonderful movie and I loved it.”
John Duigan’s Australian film Flirting, about the romance between two teenage outcasts at a boarding school, is best known today for the early film roles of Thandiwe Newton and Nicole Kidman. One in 2017 Slate in an interview, Gerwig called the Australian film a film that had a big impact on her and helped inspire “Lady Bird.”
“It’s very gentle and very good,” Gerwig said. “I remember it was a movie where I thought, ‘Oh, you could do that, but could it be real?’ Even though I’ve never been to an Australian boarding school, I have no idea if that’s true or not.”
“Pretty in Pink” (1986)
Another teen movie that helped introduce “Lady Bird” was John Hughes’ “Pretty in Pink,” in which Molly Ringwald is a teenage outcast looking for love as her high school prom approaches.
In an interview with Slate , Gerwig said that Howard Deutch’s pink dress helped with costume design for the “Lady Bird” prom scene. “I loved the John Hughes movies,” Gerwig said. “But I would definitely say that of all those movies, ‘Pretty in Pink’ is my favorite.”