First time director Greta Gerwig is one of only five female directors nominated in the Oscars Best Director category. The Shape of Water's Guillermo del Toro will most likely take this year's award, however Gerwig is a mighty contender who is equally deserving for her work with Lady Bird. An original script also written by the respectable young filmmaker - Lady Bird is atmospherically set in 2002, where we follow a young girl's coming of age in Sacramento, California.
Much like the spotted little insect after which it's named, Lady Bird is quirky, vibrant and full of life. Lifted by Saoirse Ronin's inspiring, headstrong performance - Gerwig captures everything it means to be a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. Through an uplifting screenplay - serious at the moments it needs to be - Gerwig perfectly highlights the challenges and obstacles of being a teenager, emphasising each of the many directions it stretches you in.
We follow seventeen year old self titled Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson - a young high schooler facing almost every current teen issue going: a testing relationship with her mother, bad grades and how to meet boys. Juggle this with trying to fit in with the crowd, whilst simultaneously trying to be her own person, Ronin captivatingly portrays the fresh faced Lady Bird as bold, daring, and eager to get ahead in life. Aside from Gerwig's heartwarming screenplay Ronin is the key reason the film feels relatable, whether you are a teenager yourself or a parent who recognises the sacrifices necessary in family life. From beginning to end it's almost impossible not to fall in love with Christine the Lady Bird.
From the adult side of the equation Laurie Metcalfe's gives an emphatic turn as struggling mother of three trying to make ends meet, locking horns with Ronin's outspoken, strong willed nature. These towering performances gives us an insight from both sides of what can divide us from our parents, yet what can ultimately bring us closer towards them. At the same time Lady Bird emphasises the value of individuality and the need to respect that in each of us.
Lady Bird is neither overly ambitious nor too light and superficial. As it stands, the film is a gorgeously relatable tale of the family dynamic and the complex, angsty stages of growing up. Richly yet softly shot, Gerwig paints many scenes using natural or subdued lighting, giving Lady Bird a warm and fuzzy home video feel. Ultimately it's a short, sweet and accomplished coming of age story that focuses on the importance of home and our mothers - learning to understand them rather than rebelling against them, appreciating our time together and grateful for the individuals they shape us to be.
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.