Lady Bird (2017)

lady bird poster 2017 movie saoirse ronan
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great cast, strong story

Coach scene

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Lady Bird

Studio:   Scott Rudin Productions

Genre(s):   Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s):   September 1, 2017 (Telluride Film Festival)/November 3, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

lady bird saoirse ronan swimming scene

Live life!

Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is Lady Bird…at least that is what she wants to be called.  Growing up in Sacramento, Lady Bird wants nothing more than to get out.  Lady Bird is entering her senior year and navigating the world of boys with a new boyfriend Danny (Lucas Hedges), a rival Kyle (Timothee Chalamet), and considering leaving her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) for the more popular Jenna (Odeya Rush).  At home, Lady Bird finds her father (Tracy Letts) battling unemployment and butting heads with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) who has completely different plans for Lady Bird’s future.

Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird is a comedy-drama.  The film premiered at Telluride Film Festival and was received with praise by critics.  The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Metcalf), and Best Original Screenplay.

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He could be “the One”…or not

I really was looking forward to seeing Lady Bird, but kept putting it off for other movies that were nominated for Best Picture.  I’m glad I finally saw Lady Bird because it is one of the better film of 2017.

The story for the movie isn’t very focus, but it feels real.  The movie’s script has the tone of Juno with a mix of serious but humor, but unlike Juno, the movie features dialogue that is real.  Lady Bird is a very typical teen.  She’s different but not a standout.  She’s insecure and often lies for no reason when lying will obviously just lead to problems.  The movie is built on the secrets that people don’t tell, and it is highly built upon the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother (who has the tricky balance of being harsh and a realist).  One of the most poignant lines of the film was when Lady Bird challenges her mother to the question if she actually likes her (not loves her)…something that is never answered.  The only scene that took me out of the picture was possibly the coach with The Tempest play…it was a bit of a comedy cliché that didn’t fit the tone of the film.

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I’m praying I’ll get out of here

The cast is strong.  I still contend that Saoirse Ronan is going to be one of the future stars of the screen since she’s continuing to evolve and get better with each role (unlike some child stars who start strong and fizzle).  The surprise in the film is Laurie Metcalf as Ronan’s mother, and it is always nice to see her back since I thought she was one of the stronger parts of Roseanne.  Tracy Letts plays a nice good guy as he continues to become a major supporting actor in films and young stars Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet continue to evolve as they gain more recognition.

The movie says everything about Sacramento that I’ve ever heard.  It is a nice city if you choose to let it be nice, but if you go into it expecting CALIFORNIA!!!, you’ll be sadly disappointed.  It is surrounded by everything you’d expect from California, but it really feels Midwest with farming and dryness.  The decision to put it in 2002 eliminates the impact of cellphones and social media (which Gerwig wouldn’t have experienced and could have threatened to get wrong).  Despite it being her initial directing venture, you can see a lot of Greta Gerwig’s acting and story past in Lady Bird’s look and style.

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Two of a kind…

While other movies are sadder on the outside, there is something inherently sad about Lady Bird.  The fear and loss of growing up, the mistakes, and the unspoken things that go on among people.  The movie feels very real (Gerwig admits it is somewhat biographical but also downplays that it is biographical), but it genuine feel and humor comes from the realism and mix of sadness (I remember having those distinct feelings about driving the first time I drove by myself in my hometown).  Lady Bird is a great reminder of youth and what you’ve lost as an adult.

Related Links:

The 90th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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