Lady Bird

Feb 14, 18 Lady Bird

IN CINEMAS FEBRUARY 15

SYNOPSIS:

In Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating both the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mUm (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.

Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia

#LadyBird

REVIEW:

Nerida:

Every one of us can remember their senior year of high school. For some of us, it was great, for others it wasn’t. No matter what the quality of that year was, we all experienced adulthood for the first time and prepared for our lives to change forever. Lady Bird tells this exact story through the eyes of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson as she tries to carve her own path while also trying to navigate the pressures of her final year in high school.

The story is very relatable and filled with emotion – perhaps too much so being someone who graduated from a all-girls catholic high school in 2003. The connections between characters are stunning and give the film a very authentic feel. We witness Lady Bird’s story from beginning to end, letting us as the audience relive our senior years as she is living hers.

The film does follow into small traps when it comes to introducing and dealing with its characters. Some are given too little screen time to make a big enough difference, and some are given too much screen time and end up making up no difference. There is also some conventional/predictable moments that should have been changed or omitted in order for the film to distance itself more from the coming of age genre, and also story lines and characters that you don’t see the resolve to.

The greatest contributor to this film is Great Gerwig as both the writer and director. She expertly knows how to write authentic dialogue for teenagers. None of it sounds fake or written by an adult trying to emulate what teens sound like. She also uses the camera to make the film have a grounded and time appropriate look to it.

This film is littered with great acting in both large and supporting roles. Saoirse Ronan knocks it out of the park as the titular lead. She plays the role with command and confidence, which translates well into her best scenes, all of which come when Laurie Metcalf is present. Metcalf is brilliant as the constrained mother that’s trying her best to keep the family afloat during tough times. She shares excellent chemistry with Ronan and the two of them make for one of the best mother-daughter stories in film.

Other great performances come from Tracy Letts as Lady Bird’s father who is the reserved figure in a house occupied by two women with “strong personalities.” Lucas Hedges follows up his great performance last year in Manchester By the Sea with another respectable turn here as Lady Bird’s first boyfriend, Danny.

Lady Bird is a film that doesn’t invent anything new in the teenage coming of age story genre, but it greatly improves on everything before it. Wonderful performances all around and great directing make this a must-see during the crowded awards season.

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