During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Kristin Scott Thomas
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.
Christine "Lady Bird" MacPherson is a high school senior from the "wrong side of the tracks." She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. LADY BIRD follows the title character's senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college. Written by
This was the second movie in which Saoirse Ronan had played a character who insists on using a name other than their given one ("Lady Bird" instead of Christine). The first was How I Live Now (2013). ("Daisy" instead of Elizabeth) See more »
When Lady Bird leaps out of the car at the beginning of the film she has not undone, and is no longer constrained by, the shoulder harness seen in previous shots. See more »
Mothers and Daughters and growing up in Sacremento.
Greta Gerwig, usually disappoints me - as an actress and now in her writing and directorial debut, LADY BIRD, a coming-of-age film about a seventeen-year-old girl growing up in Sacramento " the Midwest of California " (the best line in the film,) and the love/hate relationship she has with her working-class family and peers. Social distinctions figure prominently in Gerwig's cinematic world of "ironic class strivers." I keep wondering why I am left cold by her words and her characters and eventually understood that LADY BIRD is too self-consciously trying to be inclusive - inclusive of every contemporary issue - touching upon a diversity of characters and situations with momentary episodic flashes.The touch is light, illustrating concerns rather than delving into them, giving us tokenism - glossing over deep pain and longing with a CliffsNotes diminution.
Saoirse Ronan is excellent as Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson - a nickname she gives herself to appear distinctive. I am sympathetic to the aspirations of a young, self- involved teenager searching for a path to glamour and excitement. Youth is an innocent time - one open to endless fantasies - reality has not yet penetrated the hermetic world of dreams. The "firsts" of the teen years - first kiss, first sexual experience leading to the loss of virginity, first self-awareness of one's own ethical and moral values, and the critical realization that the world is not always spinning for you alone - solely for your personal gratification.
The film opens with Lady Bird and her mother - a wonderful performance by Laurie Metcalf - who is driving and listening to Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath on audio tape - both simultaneously weeping, moved by the beauty of the spoken words; their mirrored responses reflect their enduring affection. And suddenly the mood is shattered and we see the other side of their relationship - a mother who works double shifts as a psychiatric nurse to supplement the family income so that her daughter can go to a private Catholic school; the burden of monetary expenses weighs heavily on her shoulders. The ever-present resentment that comes with sacrifice is often unleashed on her oblivious daughter in a torrent of sarcasm, humiliation, and disparagement.
Greta Gerwig is at her best in the scenes between mother/father and daughter. A lovely tenderness exists which is often choked and stifled by the exigencies of financial straits.The underpinnings are there for a truly fine movie, but in the rush to cast a wide net, Gerwig compromises her subjects' humanity, placing a veil of bromides over what could have been profound interactions. Maybe next time. I hope so.
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