Greta Gerwig has appeared in some of my favorite movies in recent years such as Mistress America and Frances Ha and always provides quirky, realistic performances in all her roles. Gerwig co-directed a smaller film in 2008 but is now getting her chance to solely direct a film on her own. Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan as Christine, or Lady Bird as she would like to be called. She is navigating her remaining years of high school in a Catholic school in Sacramento, California. She longs to attend a college outside of California, preferably on the East Coast where she can experience new things and escape from her normal life. Throughout her senior year in Sacramento, she participates in school productions, has her first romantic relationship, and works different jobs while balancing friends and family.
As you watch Lady Bird, you’ll probably think to yourself that you’ve seen this movie before. It’s a common coming of age story that involves relationships and struggling dynamics with family members, but it stands out from other films in this genre. Lady Bird is realistically written from the point of view of Lady Bird. She wants more in life than just attending school in Sacramento. There’s a memorable quote from Lady Bird where she says that she wants to live through something. The film provides moments for Lady Bird to encounter to help her live through something.
Gerwig perfectly captures the hardships and memories one creates during their high school years. I couldn’t help but think back to my relationships and memories I made during my senior year in high school. Moments seem so real during Lady Bird like Lady Bird falling out with her best friend played by Beanie Feldstein. The writing isn’t afraid to present honest moments that shake up the relationships for our leading stars.
Most coming of age stories deal with a young boy or girl finding themselves and falling in love with someone who doesn’t notice them. Lady Bird has those moments, but it also deals with her relationship with her mom, played by Laurie Metcalf. By adding the element of family drama, Gerwig brings the realization that sometimes adults and their children don’t always click like one might think.
Saoirse Ronan gives a strong performance as the title character. She seems mature for her age but at the same time naïve. She understands how to communicate with friends but seeks adventure and the experience of high school. Ronan gives moments of sadness as well as humor. Lucas Hedges also stars in this movie for a few brief scenes, but his moments are moving and truthful. The whole supporting cast including Timothee Chalamet and Laurie Metcalf add moments of reality in Lady Bird’s life.
Greta Gerwig does not appear in this film but brings her charm to Lady Bird. Gerwig is a quirky performer who adds a touch of realness in her dialog. There is honest dialog and Gerwig nails the concept of unavoidable difficulties in one’s life. She truly captures the difficulty of growing up and how one can forget to appreciate what someone can do for you.
Heading into Lady Bird, I found it hard to believe that a film could get a 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and be called the best film of the year when we’ve already witnessed some spectacular films. After viewing Lady Bird, I can see why people have hyped this film up. Greta Gerwig adds her own style to a film that falls into a typical category, but it stands up on its own. Lady Bird easily tops my list of favorite and well directed films of 2017.
Want to see Lady Bird and judge for yourself? Click on the images below to buy your tickets now and be sure to come back and tell us what you thought!
Lady Bird runs 1 hour 34 minutes and is rated R for language, sexual content, brief graphic nudity and teen partying.