Lady Bird has received many accolades for being an all around great film. I looked forward to seeing it when I heard it was written and directed by Greta Gerwig. I have been a fan of hers ever since I saw her film Frances Ha. (My review of Frances Ha is here on my blog, and you can view it by typing the name in the blog search engine.)
Christine, aka Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan), is a senior at a Catholic all-girl high school, the kind where the nuns closely monitor the length of the skirt on your uniform. Her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) is an intelligent young lady with a smart mouth.
About all the teen issues you can think of come up in this film, set just after 9/11 in Sacramento, California. Ms. Gerwig is from Sacramento, thus the easy depicting of the area in and around the city.
Lady Bird’s mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) is a bitch. Sorry, it’s an honest assessment. I find it interesting as well as troubling that so many moms we see in films are not that great, and so many troubled relationships between mother and daughter are the focus of stories. I’m one of the lucky ones I guess, because my daughter/mother relationship was a stellar example of how it should be.
Lady Bird’s long-suffering father Larry (Tracy Letts) is there to help ease the conflict between her and her mother, and lucky for Lady Bird, he is there for her. Also in the home are adopted son Miguel (Jordan Rodrigues), and his live-in girlfriend, Shelly (Marielle Scott).
The family lives on the other side of the tracks, and Lady Bird longs to fit in with the more monied class of Sacramento, seeking out Jenna (Odeya Rush) to be her friend. She joins theater at school that pulls in boys from another Catholic school for performances, and meets Danny (Lucas Hedges). Falling in love has never seemed so sweet, but there are complications as in any first love. The bad boy she falls for next, Kyle (Timothée Chalamet), is just too cool and Lady Bird is setting herself up for heartbreak, you just know it.
Her decision about where to attend college is fraught with drama, as her mother wants her to go to school in California, and Lady Bird wants to get as far away from Sacramento as possible. Why her mom wants her nearby when they are such a bad fit for each other remains a mystery for a long time.
The film is rated R for language, sexual content, brief graphic nudity and teen partying. I loved Lady Bird. Saoirse Ronan is a little old to be playing a teen, but she does a good job and was nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy at the Golden Globes, along with Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalf, Best Screenplay for Greta Gerwig, and Best Comedy. I will not be surprised when Lady Bird receives many awards this year.