5 best movies written by Greta Gerwig ahead of Barbie

5 best movies written by Greta Gerwig ahead of Barbie (Image via Warner Bros.)
5 best movies written by Greta Gerwig ahead of Barbie (Image via Warner Bros.)

Greta Gerwig is a well-known American actress, writer, and director who has been a huge and influencial figure in modern day independent cinema. One of the more mainstream films that she has most recently worked in is the upcoming fantasy comedy from the house of Warner Bros. Pictures, Barbie.

Greta Gerwig has directed the film while working together with Noah Baumbach on the screenplay. The film takes its name and is based on the kids' fashion toys line-up from Mattel of the same name. Barbie is set to release in theaters across the US on July 21, 2023, after getting a premiere earlier in Los Angeles.

The film features a star-studded ensemble cast including the likes of Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Michael Cera, Simu Liu, John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Dua Lipa, Will Ferrell, Ncuti Gatwa and others.

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The official synopsis of the upcoming movie, according to Warner Bros., reads as:

"To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken."

Barbie has already garnered a lot of attention from film enthusiasts for its elaborate set designs, performances by seasoned actors, and Gerwig's previous directorial gems. With the film set to release later this month, we list out the director's five best films written by her that you can check out before Barbie releases in theater.


Lady Bird, Little Women, and 3 more of Greta Gerwig's best written films

1) Lady Bird

Lady Bird (Image via A24)
Lady Bird (Image via A24)

Lady Bird is a coming-of-age comedy drama from the house of A24 movies. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig in her first solo directorial venture, the film premiered at the 2017 Telluride Film Festival before a theatrical release.

The cast featured Saoirse Ronan in the lead role alongside Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, and others in pivotal roles. The film received widespread critical acclaim for its screenplay, Gerwig's direction, and well-thought out sound design.

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It was hailed by many as one of the best films of the year, if not of the decade. Lady Bird went on to secure multiple prestigious accolades, including multiple Oscar nominations and two Golden Globes.

The official synopsis from A24 for the Greta Gerwig's semi-autobiographical film reads as follows:

"Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated, and strong-willed mom, a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home."

2) Little Women

Little Women (Image via Sony Pictures)
Little Women (Image via Sony Pictures)

Little Women is another coming-of-age drama, but set in a bygone era, from the house of Sony Pictures. Gerwig took responsibility for writing and directing the film, taking inspiration from Louisa May Alcott's 1868 classic of the same name.

The film starred Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, and Laura Dern in the pivotal roles alongside Bob Odenkirk, Meryl Streep, Tracy Letts, James Norton, and others in supporting roles.

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The film premiered at the Museum of Modern Art before getting a theatrical release in 2019. It was once again a favorite among critics, with Gerwig's screenplay and direction along with the stellar performance by the cast getting the spotlight.

Sony's official synopsis for the film reads as follows:

"...a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms -- is both timeless and timely."

3) Frances Ha

Frances Ha (Image via IFC Films)
Frances Ha (Image via IFC Films)

Frances Ha is a romantic comedy drama from the house of IFC Films. Noah Baumbach directed the film alongside co-writing the screenplay with Greta Gerwig. The film premiered at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival before receiving a limited theatrical release in 2013.

The cast features Greta Gerwig in the lead role alongside Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, Michael Esper, Grace Gummer, Patrick Heusinger and others in pivotal roles. Another critical success, Frances Ha received praise for Baumbach's direction alongside Gerwig's performance and vision.

IFC Films has provided a short synopsis for the film:

"Frances lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she's not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren’t really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness."

4) Mistress America

Mistress America (Image via Searchlight)
Mistress America (Image via Searchlight)

Mistress America is a comedy drama from the house of Fox Searchlight Pictures. Another colaboration between Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, the film sees Baumbach directing and co-writing the screenplay with Gerwig. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival before getting a theatrical release.

The cast featured Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke in the central roles alongside Shana Dowdeswell, Amy Warren, Shelby Rebecca Wong, and others in supporting roles.

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The synopsis for the film as found on Searchlight's website reads as follows:

"In Mistress America, Tracy is a lonely college freshman in New York, having neither the exciting university experience nor the glamorous metropolitan lifestyle she envisioned. But when she is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke – a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town – she is rescued from her disappointment and seduced by Brooke's alluringly mad schemes."

5) Nights and Weekends

Nights and Weekends (Image via IFC Films)
Nights and Weekends (Image via IFC Films)

Nights and Weekends is an independent mumblecore film distributed by the IFC films. Joe Swanberg and Greta Gerwig worked together on writing the screenplay and directing the film. The film premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival and screened at multiple other festivals before getting a theatrical release.

The cast for the indie film featured Gerwig and Swanberg taking centre stage alongside Jay Duplass, Alison Bagnall, Elizabeth Donius, Lynn Shelton and others in pivotal roles.

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A concise synopsis for the film can be found of IFC Film's website:

"Mattie and James are in love. But too many mornings and too many miles apart have taken a toll on them. As they struggle with the distance between New York and Chicago, their visits become reminders of the difficulties, not the pleasures, of their relationship."

These were some of the best films that has Greta Gerwig working on the screenplay. With her writing and direction, a nuanced vision of the film emerges, which has till date been a hit among the critics.

If you also love Greta Gerwig's work in film, then be sure to catch these titles. Also, you can soon watch her upcoming film, Barbie, in the theaters as it is set for a US-wide release date of July 21, 2023.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury