Geek Review: Lady Bird

Watson saw, loved, and reviewed this movie already.

My turn now.

Lady Bird is the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (a fierce and strong Saoirse Ronan).  She’s an artistic wannabe type who hates living in Sacramento, California and dreams of just getting away from the relative poverty she lives in there.  The film takes place over the year 2002-2003 as the girl, insisting on being called “Lady Bird,” attends her final year of Catholic high school and is looking forward to going to college.  Along the way, she clashes with her mother Marion (an equally fierce and strong Laurie Metcalf).  Much of the clash seems to come from the fact Lady Bird is a dreamer while Marion is a more pragmatic woman worried over her daughter’s future amidst her own knowledge of the family’s actual finances.

Truth be told, it looks as if the real problem, according to Lady Bird’s more easygoing father Larry (Tracy Letts), is that Lady Bird and Marion are both very similar people.  Both are easily offended by what the other says or does, and the arguments that come out are a result.  The big difference is Lady Bird, with her aspirations for be and have more than life has allowed so far, is more of a dreamer with unrealistic expectations for what the world owes her.  Marion has lived through all that and knows how disappointing life can be.  Over the course of the film, as the year passes, Lady Bird learns some harsh lessons and emerges as a more mature person than the one we saw in the opening minutes who takes drastic measures to get out of hearing criticisms from her mother.

Writer/director Greta Gerwig has produced a great slice of life piece here.  There’s some humor and some tears, all based on great character work from both Gerwig’s script and a rock-solid cast.  This one should be in the hunt during awards season.  9 and a half bad boyfriends out of ten.

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