Lady Bird takes us on a journey through high school senior Christine, self-named Lady Bird in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut. Lady Bird is an angsty teen who is under the impression that she has learned everything the high school could possibly teach her, but what she doesn’t realize is every day she is learning something new. Gerwig took inspiration from her own adolescence to write the film, which might be cause for the specificity and realism of each experience Lady Bird encounters. This slight autobiography rings a sense of truth, that any female can relate to upon reflection of their own high school experiences.
Gerwig does a phenomenal job capturing the world-wind that is the last year of high school when old things that used to be so important all of a sudden matter less and less as new opportunities and experiences begin to form. Lady Birds dream of leaving the small, old run of the mill city that is Sacramento and move to New York for school or anywhere as long as it’s on the West Coast.
Lady Bird is wonderfully depicted with sensational actors fitting for each character. Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird perfectly acts the jumble of teenage hormones, emotions, and strength with ease. She’s strong, bored, hungry, funny, curious, experimental, independent and sometimes a little mean and from her mothers’ standpoint very inconsiderate. You can see she has the potential to do something with her life if only she allowed herself to grow and learn. Although, she’s no longer a teen herself Ronan steps into the role without playing up Lady Bird’s clueless youth, instead she underplayed her sympathetic and smart.
Throughout the film, Lady Bird is constantly at odds with her rigid mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf). The scene between Ronan and Metcalf are the highlights of the film, they fully embody the complicated mother-daughter relationship.
Overall the film is filled with incredibly vivid moments, but it seems to miss an overall arc. Sure she gets to New York in the end and realizes she’s going to miss her family, but the film itself is full of moments that are disjointed. You never really get to know any other character enough to really feel the impact that they have on Lady Bird aside from her mother and best friend.
Getting to visit the world of Lady Bird was a wonderful journey and a window into what Gerwig is capable of when she puts her director’s hat back on once again.