Greta Gerwig and 20th Century Women is a match made in heaven. The Oscar-nominated film, now available on digital HD, is a wonderful celebration of women which carves out a strong role Gerwig is perfect for. (Her Golden Globe nomination can attest to that.) Upon the coming-of-age film's Blu-ray release on March 28, Gerwig and writer/director Mike Mills reflect on why the actor's spirit so effortlessly translates to her character Abbie, and her hardships, on screen.
The heartwarming drama takes place in 1979 Santa Barbara, where single mom Dorothea (Annette Bening) is determined to raise her young son to be an upright man during a time of shift in American culture. Dorothea calls on the smart and alluring Julie (Elle Fanning) and free-spirited Abbie (Gerwig) to help raise him. While taking Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) under their wing, the women face major obstacles and come to realizations of their own.
Gerwig's character, for example, has a heartbreaking diagnosis of cervical cancer. Thus, Mills explains why he was fascinated to tell her story of "dealing with really big questions" and how Gerwig was able to bring humanity to the role. Gerwig says it was a conscious effort on her part to depict Abbie as more than the single dimension of a cancer patient. "It was pretty important to me that you still feel who she was before this happened," she says.
Getting a glimpse into Gerwig's role is a piece of the film's overall puzzle. These women learn and grow in the process of teaching a young boy about life, which in turn provides them with a new lease on their own.