Lady Bird Review

Greta Ger­wig has al­ways been a very un­der­rated ac­tress, es­pe­cially for her work in in­die films such as “Frances Ha” or “20th Cen­tury Women.” She’s also the type of girl you just want to have cof­fee with and just talk about…re­ally, any­thing cool.

But now, she’s get­ting be­hind the cam­era, rather than in front of it, in her solo di­rec­to­r­ial and screen­writ­ing de­but, tak­ing a re­al­is­tic look at ado­les­cence in “Lady Bird.”

Chris­tine “Lady Bird” McPher­son (Saoirse Ro­nan) is a 17-year-old girl at­tend­ing a Catholic school who al­ways dreamt of mov­ing away from her home in Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia in or­der to go to col­lege. The tough thing is, she does­n’t have per­fect grades and every­thing sur­round­ing her mother and fa­ther (Lau­rie Met­calf and Tracy Letts) is…not the best. She also has to bal­ance every­thing from ro­mances to try­ing to dis­cover what type of per­son she wants to be dur­ing her se­nior year.

Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in Lady Bird (2017)

The fact that Ger­wig was gonna be di­rect­ing a new film was al­ready some­thing to get ex­cited by. Though she does­n’t act in the film, “Lady Bird” could still be some­thing that the in­die crowd will fall in love with. I have to say, “Lady Bird” is a film that every­body should see by the end of the year. It’s an ab­solutely heart­warm­ing story.

Ro­nan is re­ally com­ing into her own with these more ma­ture roles that get bet­ter with each movie she’s in. Chris­tine is one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ters of the year. She’s eas­ily re­lat­able to some­one around her age as a kid who just wants to get out of this city. She turns out to be a char­ac­ter that you re­ally feel for by the end of the film. From her break­through per­for­mance from “Atone­ment” to now, Ro­nan is in­cred­i­ble, and her per­for­mance as “Lady Bird,” (Chris­tine gives her­self that name,) is my fa­vorite role from her. Is this an­other Os­car nom­i­na­tion for her ca­reer? I hope so.

Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird (2017)

Ger­wig’s screen­play might be one of my fa­vorites of the year: there was­n’t a sin­gle line that felt un­re­al­is­tic. The film takes place in the early 2000s, since the script is some­what based on Ger­wig’s life, and it’s cer­tainly the type of film she would be in. Some of Christine’s lines will be some of the most mem­o­rable quotes by the end of the year. Ger­wig does a tremen­dous job of hav­ing a con­sis­tent blend of hu­mor and drama with­out over­shad­ow­ing ei­ther one. This script re­ally re­minded me of last year’s “The Edge of Sev­en­teen” in the way it’s told.

Even for a com­ing-of-age film, this does have a ten­dency to go into a few mi­nor clichés, but you can look past those be­cause the film as a whole feels very fresh. It goes out of its way to be dif­fer­ent and unique. Our main char­ac­ter not only has to deal with the stress­ful prob­lems with her par­ents, but with her best friend Julie (por­trayed ex­cel­lently by Beanie Feld­stein) and with try­ing to make every­thing hap­pen in her life smoothly. She has the oc­ca­sional ro­man­tic in­ter­est, falling for the kind the­ater guy Danny (Lu­cas Hedges, “Man­ches­ter By the Sea”) and bad boy mu­si­cian Kyle (Tim­o­thée Cha­la­met, “Call Me By Your Name”) in a rather typ­i­cal teenager-movie way.

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween Ro­nan and Met­calf felt like the most re­al­is­tic movie re­la­tion­ship be­tween mother and daugh­ter in the past few years. You can see there are qual­i­ties that they don’t like about each other, but deep in­side, they both love one an­other. That’s what the film is re­ally about: the core re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two of them and the mother let­ting Chris­tine out into the world.

Speak­ing of Met­calf, she was out­stand­ing. This was the best work she’s done since “Roseanne” and she should get a Sup­port­ing Ac­tress nom­i­na­tion.

As for mu­sic, I’m not a fan of Dave Matthews Band, but “Crash into Me” is­n’t that bad of a song.

In the end, “Lady Bird” was every­thing I ex­pected. It was un­pre­dictable with its hon­est sto­ry­telling, be­ing a love let­ter to Sacra­mento and the process of grow­ing up. It’s well-acted from every­body, with­out a sin­gle flaw. Fin­gers crossed that this will get some Os­car recog­ni­tion, be­cause this should­n’t be ig­nored around award sea­son.

Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in Lady Bird (2017)

Hon­estly, this is one of the best movies of the year and will be talked about in the near fu­ture as a clas­sic. Can’t wait to see what’s next for Ger­wig in the di­rect­ing chair, be­cause this is one of the best di­rec­to­r­ial de­buts from an ac­tor-turned-di­rec­tor.

Lady Bird” is a won­der­ful and up­lift­ing com­ing-of-age dram­edy with Greta Ger­wig’s fan­tas­tic writ­ing/​di­rec­tion and a bliss­ful Saoirse Ro­nan per­for­mance.

Grade: A-

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