“Lady Bird” showing now in limited theaters is a beautifully directed coming-of-age story by Greta Gerwig; that follows the turbulent bond between a teen and her mother. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Tracy Letts) loses his job.
Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, 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. Lady Bird is a great look at coming of age, and the passage of time. Each and every moment in this movie counts, they all pay off in the bigger story. The dynamic between the daughter and mother is perfect here. They both love and care for one another and also both have different ideas about the way the world works. I love the fact that sometimes the mom can be wrong, sometimes Ladybird can be wrong, sometimes they both can be wrong.
This isn’t a one-sided movie, every relationship and plot point in this has shades of grey and how you react to them will depend on your own upbringing; that is what I believe the biggest accomplishment is in Lady Bird. A movie about the clash between youthful impatience and affection for the familiar; Lady Bird has a soul and a spirit. A host of ideas and observations about adolescence and family born out of an artist who seems to have a genuine, passionate interest in those often patronized struggles.
This movie is almost too hard-hitting and relatable to me; and probably to most of my peers. I can instantly relate to Ladybird as a character. She is unyielding, headstrong, stubborn, and with me being a junior in high school, I know what it feels like being excited by the future that lies ahead, the frustration of handling relationships, and the enjoyment of living life for the moment. Nearly every moment that goes within Ladybird’s life is a reflection of my very own, and it’s shown both within Ronan’s transcent performance, and Gerwig’s powerful voice within her writing and directing.
This film’s writing is some of the best of the entire year; it has so many layers, and Gerwig’s voice somehow fits these high schoolers, our generation, so well. This movie’s language works immaculately, it is really witty and angsty yet it feels authentic to the way these characters speak to one another. The execution is just perfect- and it could have gone so wrong if it was under worse direction.
There isn’t a moment in this where it feels fake or unneeded, everything this is authentic and so real, and so true to the theme of growing up; which I think Gerwig understands in a perfect sense, that’s given within the style of directing, that links within one moment after the other, but also through the writing that makes these characters as they were real people, where they feel any sense of emotion without holding it back.
This movie’s 100% on Rotten Tomatoes makes total sense. There will be something in Lady Bird you will latch onto, and I believe it will be one to watch and be discussed for several years to come.