#EditorsChoice Lady Bird Movie Review
Lady Bird Story: Set in 2002, a teenage girl discovers herself through love, relationships and the city of Sacramento, California.
Lady Bird Review: It’s evident that Greta Gerwig takes a lot of inspiration from her own life in ‘Lady Bird’. In her solo directorial debut based on her original screenplay, she draws from these experiences to make the film genuine and honest. There are familiar setups of the ‘coming-of-age’ genre – a classic one sees lead character Christine, who goes by the name Lady Bird, falling in love with a guy from school only to end up heartbroken when she catches him cheating on her. But the way the scenario plays out is far from typical. Just as life is full of surprises, Lady Bird gets to experience a lot of them along the way, taking us along for the ride.
The realism is hammered down through all the performances, mainly by Saoirse Ronan as Christine/ Lady Bird. Ronan captures the angst, confusion and determination of a teenager on a journey of self-discovery. She is perfectly cast as the temperamental, restless girl who begins to understand what it means to look beyond yourself. Lady Bird believes she is better off away from Sacramento, forgetting that her parents are financially struggling to make ends meet. This sets up the plot for a lot of friction with her mother, leading to the most prominent angle – the mother-daughter relationship. Even though the narrative revolves around Ronan, it’s Laurie Metcalf who often steals the show as Marion who is, in essence, the adult version of Lady Bird. Equally strong-willed to the point of being obstinate, Metcalf is hilarious, yet firm as a mother who pokes holes in her daughter’s self-obsessive bubble.
Besides the two main characters, Gerwig infuses a lot of personality into all the supporting roles, making each one of them essential to the plot. Although they might seem to be forgetful, Gerwig ensures that their parts are not merely decorative, and far from stereotypical. The credit goes to her writing skills and ability to present a collection of memories from someone’s teenage years without being pretentious, or melodramatic for the sake of cheap laughs or tears. Just like the protagonist, ‘Lady Bird’ is awkwardly funny yet bittersweet, making it one of Hollywood’s most original and refreshingly honest films about growing up.