Distributed By: A24
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
After listening to the soundtrack, reading about the film and listening to all of the awards hype, I was definitely interested in seeing Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. But time constraints would hold me back and then, once I finally did see it, other time constraints and commitments kept me from writing the review. Finally, here it is, my review of Lady Bird.
The film introduces us to Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), a senior attending high school at a Catholic school in Sacramento, California in 2002. A bit on the eccentric side, Lady Bird wants to go away for college, hopefully to a city with some culture, but her family’s financial struggles threaten to hold her back. Lady Bird and her mother (Laurie Metcalf) have a somewhat contentious relationship, her mom feeling Lady Bird is ungrateful.
While trying to figure out how she will attend the college of her dreams, Lady Bird and her best friend, Julie (Beanie Feldstein) join the theater program. It is here she meets Danny (Lucas Hedges) and the two begin a romantic relationship…until she discovers that Danny is gay. In the meantime, Lady Bird takes a job at a local coffee shop at her mother’s behest. She meets some well-off teens and begins to hang out with them more, ditching her best friend.
Little by little, things start to fall apart – Lady Bird’s new boyfriend proves to be a tool, she’s caught in a lie about her financial status by her new friends and she learns that her father has lost his job and has been battling depression. This explains the way her mother has been acting – as if the wait of the world is on her shoulders. And yet, Lady Bird still wants to go away to school and eventually gets accepted into a college in New York, but how can she possibly afford to go? The odds are stacking up against her and she is steadily alienating anyone who was once on her side. This is not the ideal way to start adulthood.
I can definitely understand why Lady Bird received such great accolades. The acting was terrific, especially the interactions between Ronan ad Metcalf. There is a scene where Lady Bird can’t seem to take what her mother is saying anymore and lets herself out of the car while it is still moving. How many of us felt that way as teenagers? Granted, most of us never did it, but admit it – you wanted to. The dialogue between the characters is witty, but Lady Bird is not all comedy. There are some very dramatic moments in this film as Lady Bird experiences all the growing pains a young woman about to embark on adulthood goes through. Though Lady Bird is basically a good person, she’s still a teenager and prone to wild, childish outbursts and moments when her wants overrule her better thinking. This, too, is relatable.
As a coming of age film, Lady Bird hits all the right notes and, thought the ending is a bit open to interpretation, I thought the film was incredibly enjoyable and a great deal of fun to watch.