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Lady Bird: A Coming of Age Tale

Movie Review

Mae Halliday, Guest Writer

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Saoirse Ronan once again brings her movie-saving spark and wit, paired with an unusually clever script and brilliant cast, making Lady Bird the movie of the year. The film, directed by Greta Gerwig, follows Lady Bird (Ronan), the outspoken, spunky and striking heroine that we all need. The movie is refreshing in ways that I didn’t even know I needed. Lady Bird is infused unrestrained love and unconventional endings, with the reminder that it will all be okay. Christine McPherson (Ronan) goes by Lady Bird, which is a testament to her mounting teenage angst and desire for originality.

The movie follows her through her senior year at an all-Catholic school; viewers watch as Lady Bird struggles with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) and her decision to leave her hometown behind. With a loveable best friend (Beanie Feldstein) and her pushover, but charming father (Tracy Letts) at her side, Lady Bird navigates first relationships, heartbreaks, college applications and a turbulent relationship with her hard but loving mother. Christine  is the perfect portrayal of teenage angst and an untamed wildness.

Set in Sacramento in the early 2000’s (Gerwig’s hometown), Lady Bird is a story about a mother’s love and sacrifice as much as it is a story of love and hope and loss. The movie beautifully portrays class division and economic hardship without making Lady Bird’s story into a sad one. Laurie Metcalf brings Marion McPherson to life in an electric and emotional performance. Her drive to protect and shelter while supporting her daughter makes her the complex and lovable character that the movie needs.

The lovable Lady Bird and Gerwig share many similarities in upbringing, but Gerwig says she was a far cry from our outspoken heroine, saying Lady Bird was “the girl I wish I could’ve been.” The movie is Gerwig’s memoir and she speaks strongly of her love for Sacramento. The movie had ample opportunities to tank and fall into the realm of Stereotypical Female Coming of Age Movies, with a hyped prom and multiple love interests, but director and screenwriter Greta Gerwig has created a masterpiece with just enough familiarity to balance out the unconventional and spirited script.

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Lady Bird: A Coming of Age Tale