Film Review: “Lady Bird”

Story by Alexis Gomes, Associate Editor

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Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s stunning directorial debut, portrays the life of teenager Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) as she struggles with growing up, her financial situation, and the hasty relationship between her and her mother (Laurie Metcalf).

We meet Lady Bird during her senior year of high school, in 2002, and she struggles with growing up. Her first love, Danny (Lucas Hedges) breaks her heart, and her second, Kyle (Timothee Chalamet) has no regard for it from the start. Her mother is crude and unforgiving, and Christine finds herself stuck alone after fighting with her best friend and being abandoned by the popular girl she replaces her with.  Essentially, she is trapped in Sacramento. She is forced to choose between what she wants and what is expected of her. Rather than continue doing theater, her new friends want her to ditch to hang out with them; rather than leave California, her only wish, her mother insists she attends a local university.

The female-led, female-directed film has been called revolutionary in its portrayal of women, and this is completely true. Oftentimes, teenage girls are portrayed in films as stereotypes: the shy nerd, the obnoxious queen bee, the personality-devoid girl next door — Lady Bird is none of these. Much like her mother, she is independent, opinionated, oftentimes abrasive, but remarkably real and lovable. She exudes the qualities we hate to have, yet we feel for her as she goes through heartbreaking situations. Lady Bird also represents the reality of growing up poor in America; she is forced to thrift her clothing and lies about her home in order to avoid embarrassment.

The film has received critical acclaim, all of which duly deserved. The film currently holds a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, with only one negative review tarnishing a perfect score. It has won numerous awards, including Best Picture (for a Musical or Comedy) at the 2018 Golden Globes, and is estimated to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. Ronan won the Best Actress (in a Musical or Comedy) at the Golden Globes, and is also estimated to be one of the frontrunners for the Best Actress Academy Award The supporting cast is immensely talented as well: Metcalf has won three Emmy awards, Hedges received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in the 2016 film Manchester By The Sea as well as starring in countless acclaimed films, and Chalamet has been nominated for numerous Best Actor awards for his work in the 2017 film Call Me By Your Name.

I completely recommend Lady Bird to anyone who enjoys coming-of-age films. It is humorous, heartbreaking, and honest, with incredible performances and well-developed characters. I have never set foot in California, nor do I attend a Catholic girls’ school, but I find Lady Bird to be the most relatable character I have ever seen.

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Film Review: “Lady Bird”