Greta Gerwig, the writer and director behind the blockbuster film “Barbie”, actively sought real-time reactions to her creation. Over the opening weekend in July, Gerwig made her presence felt at various theaters. As she mentioned at the BFI London Film Festival, she often stood at the back, observing the audience’s reactions. “I went around to different theaters and sort of stood in the back, and would then also turn up the volume if I felt it wasn’t playing at the perfect level,” she reflected.
Gerwig’s dedication to perfection wasn’t just limited to the post-production phase. Throughout the filmmaking process, she maintained an environment of enthusiasm. “Making the movie was the most joyful time I’ve ever had on a set,” she revealed. With such high hopes for her creation, she added, “If I can make a movie that is half as fun to watch as it was to make, I think maybe we’ve got a shot.”
Unforgettable Scenes and Audience Feedback
- The “I’m Just Ken” dance scene stands out as one of the movie’s signature moments. This scene showcases Ryan Gosling and the other Kens initially at odds on a Barbie Land beach. But the scene morphs into a dream dance sequence set on a blue and pink soundstage, full of “Kenergy” and intricate choreography. However, this iconic moment didn’t come easy. Getting Gosling to sing for the movie took some persuading from Gerwig.
- Despite her confidence during production, Gerwig admitted to occasional doubts. She often found herself driving home, contemplating her decisions. Nevertheless, she continued to stand by her creative choices.
- The film’s reception was undeniably mixed. While it enjoyed commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Warner Bros. film of all time and earning over $1 billion since its July 21 release, it also faced criticism. Several critics labeled it as overly “woke” and feminist. Some even took to burning Barbie dolls in protest. Gerwig, however, hoped her film would encourage inclusivity and let go of societal limitations.
What’s Next for Gerwig?
Having achieved immense success with “Barbie”, including becoming the first solo female director with a billion-dollar movie, Gerwig’s future seems bright. Yet, the director seems to be stepping into new, challenging territories. At the London Film Festival, she shared some details about her next venture. Without delving into specifics, she confirmed she’s in the writing process for another feature. “It’s hard and I’m having recurring nightmares,” she candidly revealed, indicating that this project might differ vastly from the light-hearted tone of “Barbie”.
Adding to her already impressive resume, Gerwig has two “Narnia” movies in her directorial pipeline, based on C.S. Lewis’ revered “The Chronicles of Narnia” book series.
A Deeper Dive into “Barbie”
While “Barbie” brings a delightful fantasy world to the silver screen, the messages embedded within the story are grounded in reality. Gerwig, in collaboration with co-writer Noah Baumbach, used the Barbie and Ken characters, portrayed by Robbie and Gosling, as conduits to explore the complexities of identity, societal expectations, and the freedom to self-define. These deeper themes, wrapped in the colorful aesthetics of Barbie Land, provided layers of engagement for audiences of all ages.
Addressing the Backlash
Art often becomes a mirror to society, and the reactions it garners can be varied and intense. The criticism and backlash towards “Barbie” highlight the challenges of broaching subjects like feminism and inclusivity in mainstream cinema. Gerwig’s approach, however, was never to alienate but to invite conversation. In her interview with The New York Times in July, she addressed the backlash by reiterating her intent: to welcome everyone to the party and to let go of limiting beliefs.
Greta Gerwig has undoubtedly made her mark in the cinematic world with the success of “Barbie”. The film, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, has not only become a commercial success but has also opened avenues for discussions about inclusivity and representation. As she gears up for her next ventures, fans and critics alike eagerly await what she has to offer. For more insights into Greta Gerwig’s filmmaking journey, visit the Hollywood Reporter.
From her indie roots to directing a mainstream blockbuster, Gerwig’s evolution in the film industry is noteworthy. Her distinct storytelling style, combined with her passion for genuine representation, has made her a standout in an industry often characterized by its monolithic narratives. Her success with “Barbie” is a testament not only to her directorial skills but also to her ability to tap into cultural conversations and make them accessible to a broader audience.