Lady Bird is the debut film from awkward performing independent actor Greta Gerwig, writing and directing a realistically well-meaning dramedy about a girl who calls herself Lady Bird played by Saoirse Ronan, attending her last year of High School before she goes off to college.
Greta Gerwig who started her film writing career with Frances Ha, does a great job at portraying the scattered desperation of a seventeen-year-old eager live a life other than her own, by using cut away scenes to display the harshness of reality and lingering shots to display the precious realizations of western society. These are coupled with the always whimsical and always emotionally effective musical score of Jon Brion. Whose music immediately elevates Lady Bird from being a typically independent film about a depressed white teenage, by breathing humanity into the films characters and locations yet all the while underlining the unfortunate results of a regrettable decision. Lady Bird is also elevated by a poignant script highlighting the tension of homophobia, racism, sexism, classism and war of the early 2000s that even more so existed back then. Saoirse Ronan effortless sells the desperate belonging and stubborn unawareness of Lady Bird and easily displays her pain with a quiet removed quality. Laurie Metcalf does an equally fantastic job as Lady Bird’s mother, just as stubborn and unaware, both actors brilliantly portraying the functioning of a dysfunctional passive aggressive mother/daughter relationship with a true to life script.
Lady Bird is an important watch and an enjoyable one as well, though slighted by it’s undetailed portrayal of it’s time period of the early 2000s, and of it’s characters personal interests hovering through the film, Lady Bird still accurately portrays the oppression of a female American teen, the working class and the culturally ignored yet manages to be funny, heart warming and unapologetically to it’s protagonist all the same. Greta Gerwig clearly used her life story as the inspiration for Lady Bird, and it shows for the better.
- Maurice Jones