Dec-6-2017

Reel Snippet – Lady Bird

Summary: Her parents call her Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), but in the throws of her adolescence and quest for individuality, she calls herself Lady Bird. She’s a senior in a Catholic high school and amidst her antics with her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) and her various crushes, she dreams of going to the East Coast or somewhere “with more culture” than her current city, Sacramento. Her attitude and antics grate on her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), who in turn criticizes and belittles her at almost every turn, which makes Lady Bird rebel even harder. It’s a long road to graduation, so there’s plenty of opportunity to stumble, fall flat, and hopefully get back up again and repair anything that was broken along the way.

Review: Lady Bird was so genuine and real, it actually hurt. I haven’t seen a movie capture the awkwardness of growing up and navigating the search of individuality and a dysfunctional family situation so perfectly since Boyhood. Arguably, since Lady Bird only covers one year while Boyhood covered ten, this movie had more focus. Whether you believe that or not, there’s no denying that this movie hits very close to home with its true-to-life writing and insanely relatable characters.

Everyone in the audience will be able to relate to at least one scenario presented in this story. Lying about one’s home life to seem cooler, changing your name for the sake of individuality, feeling put upon by one or more family members, trying to emulate a crush’s beliefs to be more appealing to them, Catholic School… the list goes on. The things that I personally could relate to, they nailed, and the people who I saw this with had the same reaction (though my mom, a Catholic School survivor, raised an eyebrow at Lady Bird and her friend sneaking Communion wafers, since she describes them as tasting like watered-down cardboard).

The acting is phenomenal and makes the characters and situations all the more believable. Saoirse Ronan blows it out of the park as the leading lady and manages to perfectly disguise her Irish accent. Equally as impressive is Laurie Metcalf, who gives a compelling and complex performance. Her character walks the line between sympathetic and abrasive perfectly with an absolutely believable explanation for why she acts the way she does to her daughter. I can’t say I understand every decision or feeling she has, but I know that this would have fallen apart with a less qualified actress.

To be honest, I don’t want to talk about this anymore because this deserves to be seen before being discussed. Watching this movie was a true experience that touched me in ways I didn’t think a movie could, even after studying so many in school. If you can see it, please do. You owe it as a favor to yourself. It will cast a lens on your life that will help you come to terms with certain parts while also giving you the power to move forward. At least that’s how I felt. Either way, please see as soon as you can and judge for yourself.

Fun Tidbit: Apparently, this film is semi-autobiographical for writer-director Greta Gerwig. Part of this is shown by Lady Bird’s given name, Christine, and Marion’s job as a nurse belonging to Greta’s mother.


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