Director: greta gerwig (debut)
Starring: Saoirse ronan, laurie metcalf, beanie feldstein, and timothee chalamet
REVIEWER: emily carter
An artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
The 1980s had the "coming of age" film down-pat (and probably starring the ever-relatable Molly Ringwald). And somehow it feels like there hasn't been a genuine "coming of age" since (special mention to The Way Way Back (2013)). Thankfully Lady Bird came along to show up your fave 80s flick with some real and raw teen angst, heartbreak and family ties.
It's 2002 and Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is in her last year at a Catholic high school. Tied up with college pressures, school expectations, friends, dating and her mother's pushing, Lady Bird's tumultuous travels through teenagehood can speak into the experiences of so many.
Lady Bird's most intriguing relationship is with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) - even more misunderstood than the teenager herself. She presses and prods Lady Bird in particular directions and makes her expectations and letdowns loudly known. And Lady Bird makes sure her frustration is equally heard. However, their relationship has such tender and endearing moments, often spliced between fighting, often just seconds apart. You'll find yourself both chuckling and tearing up, both loving and loathing so much about these two characters together.
I also particularly loved Lady Bird's long-time friend Julie Steffans (Beanie Feldstein). So sweet, endearing and loyal - and played so truthfully by Beanie.
Sex, boys, friends and the 'cool group' both hurt Lady Bird and hurtle her towards adulthood, a place she both wants and wants to bypass with every side-eye thrown her mother's way.
Lady Bird was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress. Saorise Ronan is impeccable and the story really marked a coming-of-age comeback.
So fresh, yet so familiar, Lady Bird is beautiful and ballsy - a must watch of 2018.