“What if this is the best version of myself?”
In Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird tells the coming of age story of a young girl, Lady Bird, a name she has given to herself, as she begins her journey between high school and college. With the help of her friends and family, Lady Bird is able to create the path that will lead her to who she wants to be.
Lady Bird doesn’t seem like much when you look at it, but boy does it shine. What makes this film exceed all others during this award season, is the story. So many times we see young girls in high school and it’s nothing more than a story with mindless characters and a ridiculous amount of crushes on boys. Though Lady Bird does have romantic relationships in the film, it is so much more than your average coming of age story. I must say that this is Saoirse Ronan’s best performance. She gives so much to her character and so much to the characters that surround her. The dialogue that Ronan delivers is nothing short of perfection. The same goes for Lucas Hedges, who’s filmography has been growing as of late, and Timothée Chalamet who is, shall I say, “hella tight!” But nothing is as heart tugging as Ronan’s scenes with on screen mother, played by Laurie Metcalfe.
Gerwig, who originally titled the script Mothers and Daughters, showcases the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother. As many of us know, a relationship between a mother and daughter can be incredibly tumultuous. It’s one like any other, because there is so much love, but also so much frustration. As Lady Bird begins to free herself from her family, her mother tries to reign her back in. It’s an ongoing push and pull between these two women, with the added emotional dialogue. But in each scenario of praise that I give this film, it often goes back to Gerwig’s script and brilliant direction. For those of you who have seen Gerwig’s performances as an actress, that natural presence in her acting comes through in her directing. The performances from the cast are never forced throughout the film, but rather, it feels like you are watching someone’s life unfold before your eyes.
There is so much that I can say about Lady Bird, but I’ll simply state that this film is by far one of the best movies of the year. In a year when women’s voices roared, in addition to a year when the box office didn’t yield the best results, Lady Bird comes in as the “little movie that could” to make a substantial impact on film.
Written and Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Beanie Feldstein, Timothée Chalamet, Lucas Hedges