Barbie director’s commentary now on Max

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie in Barbie

Barbie director Greta Gerwig recorded a moment by moment commentary about the film. Normally you have to buy the DVD to get the director’s commentary. However Max is playing it now. It’s full of interesting tidbits. I had to search for Barbie commentary to find it, but it’s there.

I’ve watched Barbie several times already, but was eager to hear Greta Gerwig’s thoughts. Watching the movie with commentary isn’t like seeing the movie again. The film runs as background behind the director’s remarks.

The Barbie poster

I always watch the director’s commentary if it’s available. You learn so much about how the film was made. Everything from color choices, costumes, props, actor instructions, and how things were done physically.

You learn the director’s thoughts about the way things looked and what they wanted to accomplish. It’s fascinating.

In the case of Barbie, I was surprised by how many scenes were made to look the way they looked because they were an homage to some old favorite flick of Greta Gerwig’s. The really surprising thing to me was all the favorite directors and favorite stars she paid tribute to were men. And she put it all together in one of the most feminist films of all time.

I’ve seen many of the films she mentioned as her inspiration for various scenes, but none of it clicked with me when I watched it. (I don’t think I’m as aware of the visual of a movie as much as I am of the story.) That part of the commentary was extra fascinating to me. It gave me a lot of “OMG, yes” moments.

Gerwig wanted to create something that felt like an old fashioned musical while still conveying a modern message and feel. A lot of the people you see in the background of large scenes are actually dancers.

She talked about the collaboration between the director and the actors as well as set designers and art direction people. She had a vision and knew what she wanted, but she was willing to let the creative geniuses she gathered around her do their thing as well.

Gerwig also talked a lot about the music, especially songs by Lizzo, Dua Lipa, and Billie Eilish. She talked about the things that make her laugh – mostly Ryan Gosling and Will Ferrell. She talked about the acting choices that really impressed her – especially from Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and America Ferrera.

The old fashioned techniques used to create some of the stunts were important to her. It wasn’t CGI and green screens. It was real sets and real actors.

If you enjoyed watching Barbie, I think you’ll enjoy the commentary. Let me know what you learned from it if you do watch it.

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