Lady Bird is a comedy drama coming-of-age story written and directed by Greta Gerwig, and starring Saorise Ronan. Set in 2002, Ronan plays Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, an artistically inclined outspoken teenager with a strong desire to leave her hometown of Sacramento for a bigger city so she can spread her wings.
The film follows Christine/Lady Bird’s journey through her senior year of high school, where she has a continuous turbulent relationship with her passive aggressive mother, gushes over guys, hops around friend circles and desires to be accepted. But this is no ordinary teen drama. This film is witty, hilarious and so cleverly crafted with love.
The character of Christine “Lady Bird” is obnoxious, restless, frustrated and a bit of a brat, but is also kind and endearing. It’s hard not to love her. Despite the almost experimental decisions that Christine makes throughout the story, her actions still display her big heart. Saorise‘s performance is actually incredible. I’m not even surprised she’s getting nominated for awards.
Marion McPherson played by Laurie Metcalf is Christine/Lady Bird‘s mum who appears harsh, tough and almost cruel towards her daughter, but is the breadwinner of the family. Marion is a nurse, actively working double shifts to help keep the family afloat as her husband, Christine‘s father played by Tracy Letts, is unemployed and suffering with depression.
The stand out performances of the film for me were Beanie Feldstein as Christine‘s best friend, Julie who has one of the best lines in the film that moved me to tears, and Lucas Hedges who plays Danny, who’s struggle really pulled at my heartstrings. Both Julie and Danny were so well developed, despite being minor characters.
The screenplay, the choice of words, the cinematography… Greta Gerwig has really compiled a masterpiece on her directorial debut. There are so many quotable lines in Lady Bird (which I won’t quote, but will let you discover for yourself when you see the film) that resonate with my growing pains when I too was a teenager. At the same time, I can understand where the parents are coming from with their financial stress and internal struggles. No character in Lady Bird is perfect, everyone is flawed and lovable in their own way. And I think that’s what makes Lady Bird so special. Because at one point of our lives, we too were once rebellious teenagers that defied our parents and felt held back when we were being nurtured.
What I enjoyed the most about this film was the relationship between Christine/Lady Bird and her mother Marion. They butt heads a lot, but it’s because they’re so alike. They’re both sassy, blunt and strong-willed women. And even though it seems like they hate each other, love is more detailed and complicated than that.
Lady Bird is a love letter to the parents that drive us crazy, an ode to our angsty teenage years, and a tribute to the suburbs and hometowns where we grew up. It is a perfect reminder to us all that although love is evident, sometimes it is hard to communicate. I honestly could not recommend this film enough. What are you waiting for? Go.