I had no idea what to expect when I started watching this. I thought it was a period film! It’s actually a coming of age comedy-drama about a high school senior and her prickly relationship with her mother. Saoirse (pronounced sur-sha) Ronan plays Lady Bird. Her mother is played by Laurie Metcalf. Theirs is a lower-middle class family. Lady Bird goes to a Catholic school which her parents have sacrificed financially so she doesn’t have to worry about school violence and can have a better education.
Lady Bird wants to go to a college in Northeast America – New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, etc. She wants to get far away from Sacramento, CA where she was born and raised. Her mother is very much against this idea, one reason being they can’t afford it.
The relationship between the two is brilliantly written and acted. In one scene, Lady Bird asks her mom, “Do you like me?” And her mother obligatorily replies, “I love you.” “But do you like me?” The mother goes on to give another answer that dodges the question. I can relate to this so much because when I was younger, my mom and I had a similar relationship. She didn’t LIKE me, but she loved me.
In another scene (I’m paraphrasing), the dad says, “You and your mother just both have very strong personalities.” Literally, my dad has said the same thing! Ha! At the end, you can see them kind of learning to accept each other. It’s beautiful and completely realistic!
And sometimes girls can get along better with their dads. There is always the one parent who is more lenient and Lady Bird’s dad, played by Tracy Letts was perfect too! Just perfect casting! (I’m so biased as a fangirl of this film.)
Teenagers can be very unlikable people, no offense. But, it’s part of growing up. I loved Lady Bird’s best friend, Julie (played to perfection by Beanie Feldstein). I kind of see myself a little bit in her – the overweight drama geek, not cool, but loyal, and sweet. The drama teacher played by Stephen McKinley Henderson was fantastic.
The script allowed for minor and supporting characters to have these wonderfully emotional moments.
There are so many typical elements – hopeless crushes, sex, alcohol, fashion, being superficial, wanting to hang out with the popular kids (even though they are awful), wanting to be understood and accepted.
I can’t gush about this movie enough. I adored it! The directing was perfect! The script was fabulous. It made me want to write a story like this. Real stories that hit home, are relatable, and move you emotionally. I cried! I laughed.
Lady Bird finds out her dad lost his job and has depression. In another scene, she consoles her suddenly ex-boyfriend who is gay. This may not be a flashy, high budget film, but the quality and potency packs a punch. I would watch this again anytime!
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