Lady Bird is a coming of age film that addresses issues of religion, education, rebellion, sexuality, friendships, and family relationships. It’s a fresh witty perspective on youth in the early 2000’s. I found that there were a few similarities between myself and the writer/director Greta Gerwig. We both attended Catholic schools, showed interest in the arts in our youth, and had mothers that were very controlling.
The story begins as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronin) wants to get out of Sacramento and explore the world. Christine insists that everyone address her as “Lady Bird.” She discusses her plans for college with her mother, Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf), who vehemently objects. Mrs. McPherson prophesies that Lady Bird will stay in California and go to a nice community college.
Lady Bird calls upon the help of counselors, Catholic nuns/priests, and her father to increase chances of getting into a university on the east coast. She utilizes the school play for an outlet as well as enhancing her portfolio. She discovers new love with a boy named Danny (Lucas Hedges), who turns out to be something other than what she imagined. Her best friend, Julie (Beanie Feldstein) is by her side throughout the journey, until Lady Bird ditches her to hang with the popular kids, Jenna (Odeya Rush) and Kyle (Timothée Chalamet).
At some point during the year, Lady Bird becomes frustrated and lashes out at an anti-abortion speaker at an assembly at her Catholic school (just girls). Consequently, a heated argument ensues and Ms. McPherson reiterates that Mr. McPherson (Tracy Letts) is out of a job. Her parents have been devoting most of their money towards Catholic school and other expenses for Lady Bird and Miguel.
Her brother also Miguel realizes that he needs to buckle down and find a decent job. He and Mr. Johnson discover they are going for the same job.Lady Bird experiments with marijuana and sex. She finds that sex isn’t all it's cracked up to be.
Through out the film, the roller coaster ride between her and her mother never seems to end. The two strong personalities clash. Although, her father loses his job, he is very supportive in Lady Bird’s dream to get into a Columbia University in New York City.
Lady Bird soon realizes that her original bestie is worth 10,000 of the popular kids. She also seems to bond with Sister Sarah Joan (Lois Smith), who teaches in the Catholic Church. This film by Greta Gerwig challenges teenage youth and takes a refreshing look at growing up in a new age. Lady Bird wanted to get out of the small town and experience life. As she leaves, however the Sister reminds that she can tell that LadyBird does love Sacramento, she just has outgrown it. Ladybird has great pacing as far as dramatic and comedic dialogue. I love the raw emotion that Lady Bird emotes.
The only problem that I saw with the movie was the ending. After Lady Bird gets accepted into college, there wasn’t really a segue into the next stage of her life. I feel like the movie just ended abruptly and didn’t give the audience closure. She leaves a message for her mom stating that she is okay. But maybe that meant that she did move on. Not sure. She does find solace after a night of drunkenness. Finding a Catholic Church in the morning, Lady Bird sees the light and realizes that she is hopeful and encouraged by her new path. She has moved to a strange town, but experiencing new opportunities and adventures.Overall, I would give Lady Bird 3 and a half stars out of 4. There was some great writing and fine characters.