Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Review: Lady Bird

Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson with her best friend trying to figure out life
Even before the Oscars I wanted to watch Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig's film about a senior in high school who has just as strong a personality as her mother.

Saoirse Ronan is Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson, a 17-year-old senior in a Catholic high school and full of angst. She feels her mother (Laurie Metcalf) doesn't understand her and misinterprets it as not liking her.

So Lady Bird, as she likes to call herself, rebels for the sake of rebelling because going against the system is how she envisions her mission in life is.

Meanwhile her mother, who is a nurse, is in a tizzy because the family is financially strapped, especially after her father (Tracy Letts) loses his job and can't understand why Lady Bird can't be more understanding and helpful, and apply for local colleges.

However, Lady Bird wants to dream big and go to Yale -- well somewhere like Yale that would accept her, because she thinks she needs to go to a more liberal place, or at least as far away from Sacramento, California as she can get.

Lady Bird has constant fights with her mother Marion
At the same time she falls in and out of love, realizes the importance of true friends and quickly grows up. But during her antics, each of us can see a bit of ourselves in Lady Bird. It's that anxious feeling of wanting to fit in with the cool crowd, or arguing with mothers over which prom dress looks better, or trying to process the difference between love and sex.

The film is set in 2002, a year after 9/11, when the economic situation in the country was difficult, and threats of terrorism were still fresh on people's minds.

It's an honest film with raw emotions -- teenage angst butting heads with the reality of life ahead.

Ronan encapsulated Lady Bird perfectly, she is uncontrollable and yet in the end she knows what is right and wrong. Metcalf as her suffering mother, is so real. She's desperately trying to prepare Lady Bird for the next chapter in her life, and yet her daughter refuses to listen and she is at her wit's end.

Director Greta Gerwig also wrote the screenplay
The bond between both of them is the father played by Letts, a gentle soul who knows both women so well, but he also has issues he needs to sort out too. A funny contrast is Lady Bird's adopted brother Miguel who's smart but is a cashier at the grocery store and his girlfriend, both of them with lots of face piercings. Lady Bird points out perhaps that's why they can't get a real job... probably true!

Lady Bird is refreshing and relatable on many levels. Each of us has had a bit of Lady Bird at one time in our lives.

Lady Bird
93 minutes
Directed by Greta Gerwig
Starring Saorise Ronan, Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay

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