Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the very best American filmmakers working today, and quite possibly the most interesting. His mastery of the craft is nearly unparalleled, placing him on that elusive, immortal plane where the likes of the Coen brothers, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg currently reside. Yet what sets him apart, even among such esteemed company, is how perplexingly eclectic he is.
There are a great deal of moments in Lady Bird that made me feel as though I were looking into a mirror, nostalgic for a past that was incredibly close to Lady Bird’s. Those moments weren’t always the funny ones, to be perfectly honest. Those moments weren’t always the funny ones, to be perfectly honest. I distinctly remember squabbles with my parents, feeling as though I were independent enough at seventeen not to need their approval.
American Graffiti is arguably George Lucas’ masterpiece, not necessarily because it’s any more or less culturally significant or cinematically innovative than Star Wars, but simply because it’s Lucas’s most personal film. Here is a piece of his life, adapted into an ensemble piece that explores his own personal sense of nostalgia in a surprisingly bittersweet and grounded way.