“Lady Bird” stars Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith. Released on November 3, 2017, the film is about a high school senior and her troubling relationship with her mother.
The film features the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig, who starred in films such as To Rome with Love, Jackie, and 20th Century Women. This next film that’s been getting plenty of awards buzz is another coming-of-age story about life. I haven’t seen a lot of marketing for this movie, which is common for most independent films, but apparently, I did find out that it became the most-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes to remain at 100% as of this writing. That is a pretty impressive accomplishment considering the fact that not a lot of films stayed at that rating for so long. But does that really equal a great movie?
While the story does include Lady Bird’s (Ronan) complicated relationship with her family, mostly her mother (Metcalf), it actually follows her adolescence from being a senior at a Catholic high school to being an adult. While I didn’t see anything special about the story, I was still impressed at how well it is told. Saoirse Ronan delivered a satisfying, yet subtle, performance as the title character with Laurie Metcalf following suit as Marion, her mother. These two actresses are the only ones that truly shine onscreen together in terms of their realistic dialogue. Despite the fact that this is her first film as a director, Gerwig was able to take her knowledge of an adolescent girl and translate it flawlessly into a well-crafted portrait about life. The film is also nicely paced due to how they transition from one portion to the next during some occasions. As for its flaws, I would say that I would like to see more of the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother. I still appreciate Gerwig’s storytelling and the inspiring adolescent themes, but I think she should’ve put more focus on the mother/daughter relationship so that she can reach out more to teenage daughters who are going through the same problems with their mothers.
Overall, it doesn’t break any new ground in terms of storytelling, but “Lady Bird” marks another marvelous addition to the list of well-directed adolescent movies. Not only that, but it also marks an impressive first chapter of Greta Gerwig’s possible future as a storyteller. The performances were great, the story and its themes were very interesting and moving, and Gerwig’s direction was smartly filled with realism. I would possibly recommend it to those who are into films about adolescence.