Images courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Greta Gerwig’s writing and directorial debut, Lady Bird, is more than just another coming-of-age film that art majors and hipsters will love. It’s not the typical “blooming flower” film that artistically romanticizes teenage life. It’s a loving tribute to teens and their mothers, and a homage to Gerwig’s own experiences as young, rebellious adolescent girl.
Earning a total of five Academy Award nominations in different categories in this year’s Oscars, Lady Bird tells the simple story of a small-town-girl with high hopes and big dreams, but at the same time, it also follows the lives of the other people of Sacramento. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a plain-spoken teenager who spends the last days of her high school dealing with her strong-willed mother (Laurie Metcalf), experiencing love, and trying to escape the confines of Sacramento to reach her dreams in the world of arts in New York City.
With this film, simplicity is beauty. As a writer, Greta Gerwig created heartfelt pieces of dialogue that were delivered perfectly by her cast. Watching this film was like seeing an autobiography come to life out of the pages of a book. It was as if Gerwig was writing a letter to her younger self and to her dear home of Sacramento. Of course, we can’t really tell which elements of the film were actually taken from the director’s life; although Greta and Lady Bird have one thing in common, which is that of their mothers both being nurses. Usually, coming-of-age films that center around a female protagonist often focus more on the romantic aspect of her story, and of course, moviegoers will see a few of this in the film, but Gerwig doesn’t let that outshine the true message in her story.
The film highlights the mother-daughter relationship between Marion and Lady Bird, with the former wonderfully played by supporting actress, Laurie Metcalf, who earned herself an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird is awkward, artistic, and ever the free spirit. Ronan and Metcalf’s on-screen chemistry was natural and free-flowing. The dialogue delivery was especially good, as it was simple yet effectively delivered by the two actresses.
Saoirse boasted a very natural performance and we thought it was her best one yet. The Irish actress would no doubt touch the hearts of teenage girls everywhere with a very realistic portrayal that parallels with the lives of today’s generation. Lady Bird is angsty, rebellious, and always frustrated. With those traits, she clearly has a very conflicted relationship with her mother, Marion, whose strong personality clashes with her daughter.
It’s rare for a film to grab ahold of its viewers, but Lady Bird does just that with its poignant themes of adolescent struggles. We fully invested ourselves in every situation that the characters were in and it was easy to be swayed by the charm and wit of the script. We could find no weak link with the other characters of the film and the plot made sure that each aspect of Lady Bird’s life was strongly supported by other cast members who were part of the film.
Last but definitely not least, the cinematography was vibrant and striking. The film’s scene-to-scene transition doesn’t have an obvious beginning as it strays away from the conventional shots of filmmaking of focusing on a certain object or a slow transitioning start. Every scene in this movie has a random cut, but it was not placed roughly, which makes it unusual, yet unique in its own way. It’s very much like the young lady of this movie - unusual, yet unique.
We think we’ve said enough about this film and we have nothing more to say except this - we’ll give it 5 / 5 movie stars.
Lady Bird is now showing in cinemas. See firsthand why it was nominated for multiple Oscars and book your tickets now with GMovies!