Lady Bird (2017) Poster

(2017)

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10/10
A beautiful coming of age movie
chaz-7686229 March 2018
I went into seeing this movie without any idea what this movie was about. I knew that it was a coming of age tale but that was about it. As I walked away, I knew I had just seen something great.

Firstly, the script was amazing. The dialogue between the characters was very flowing and felt very real. I felt invested in the characters and the situations they were going through because the script showed them as honest human beings. When a film does that, you know its good.

Secondly, the acting. The acting was so honest and down to earth that the characters became even more developed and towards the end I began to feel for them. They really sold the comic moments and the felling of growing up and discovering yourself.

Finally, the cinematography. While I was watching this I didn't pay too much the the cinematography, partly because I was more invested in the story, but upon thinking about it, it was beautiful. I was shot in a way that kept the audience interested for its whole run time and at no point was I thinking about anything else.

Overall, this film will go down as one of my favourites for being real, heart felt and beautiful.
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a touching throwback to the adolescent years
Special-K8811 March 2018
In the year 2002, Catholic high school senior Christine McPherson, self-named 'Lady Bird,' is an impetuous girl literally from the wrong side of the tracks who is at a critical stage in her life: she's continually at odds with her mother, she despises her mundane life in Sacramento, and she wants to go to college on the east coast in a city with culture. Her ordinary life suddenly takes a turn when she has to deal with popularity, discovering boys and romance, and coping with the problems of people other than her own. Cute, quirky, and thoughtful coming-of-age story is one everyone can relate to, with the all-important themes of teen angst, adolescence, and ambition; colorful dialogue, well-drawn characters, and believable situations are only elevated by a talented cast of actors. Twenty-three-year-old Ronan perfectly embodies the spirit of a self-absorbed teenager in all her complexities, making it easy for viewers to recall a similar time period in their lives. ***
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9/10
Sacremento could be anywhere
billymeachen27 February 2018
The mother and daughter dynamic in this film is something I related to deeply in the context to the relationship I have with my father, this may have lead to me being a little bias in the affect the film goes for. Regardless, I must say, this is the best coming of age film I have seen in a long time. It has both as humbling scenes as it does tear shedding ones and throughout many of the situations and themes highlighted create this idea of being content with what you're given in life. You could argue that this is the "rich-people's problems" of melodramas, however, I would argue that as someone living in a border-line middle class family, that this reflects many people out there. The film highlights themes of, being outdated and replaced as well as, coming to terms with growing and accepting those who care for you. The one major detractor I would say the film has is a sub-plot whereby Lady-Bird tries to be part of the 'cool kid' group and has it come to spite her in the end. Overall though, I would say that as this film had such a personal effect on me I would highly recommend it to anyone. And like I said, you might possibly feel like you're living in the dull town of Sacremento too.
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9/10
Character Is The Thing
damian-fuller18 December 2017
How refreshing and invigorating to meet new people. Familiar and new all at the same time. Familiar because the extraordinary Saorise Ronan connected me to her soul, as soon as she appeared on the screen. Remarkable. She is, without question, one of the best actresses of her generation. She has exceptional support here, Laurie Metcalf as the mother determined to keep her feelings at bay, Lucas Hedges, providing one of the most moving, truthful moments in the film and allowing Saorise Ronan to give us a masterful class in empathy. Timothee Chalamet proves in a very short space of time that he is here to stay. His Elio in Call Me By your Name will be considered one of the great breakthrough performances in film history. Tracy Letts plays the father with irresistible humanity and then, of course, a heartfelt congratulations to the writer, director Greta Gerwing -
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9/10
Fantastic directorial debut by actress Greta Gerwig.
Anurag-Shetty6 March 2018
Lady Bird tells the story of Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson(Saorise Ronan). Lady Bird is in her final year of high school. Christine's daily life is chronicled, in her hometown of Sacramento, California.

Lady Bird is an amazing film. Director Greta Gerwig has given us a simple yet highly entertaining movie, of a headstrong girl who will stop at nothing to achieve her dreams. Gerwig expertly balances the comedic & dramatic moments. The performances are the highlight of the movie. Saorise Ronan is spectacular as Lady Bird McPherson. Ronan is becoming one of the finest young actresses in Hollywood, after similar performances in The Grand Budapest Hotel(2014) & Brooklyn(2015). Laurie Metcalf is outstanding as Marion McPherson. The dynamic between Ronan & Metcalf's characters makes this film, unforgettable. Tracy Letts is brilliant as Larry McPherson. Lucas Hedges is superb as Danny O'Neill. Timothee Chalamet is awesome as Kyle Scheible. Beanie Feldstein is excellent as Julie Steffans. Lois Smith & Stephen Henderson are good as Sister Sarah Joan & Father Leviatch, respectively. Odeya Rush, Jordan Rodriguez & Marielle Scott are impressive as Jenna Walton, Miguel McPherson & Shelly Yuhan, respectively. Lady Bird is a must watch. Go, relive your rebellious teenage years again.
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9/10
Coming of Age Drama
kz917-119 March 2018
Lady Bird delves into the perilously fraught relationship between mother and daughter. Couple that with the coming of age story of Lady Bird a senior at a Catholic High School wending her way through relationships both romantic and friend with sometimes disastrous results.

Fantastic movie. Well done acting. Not to be missed.
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10/10
What All Movies Should Strive For- Brilliance
daveakarng21 March 2018
With such a vague description, I didn't know what to expect when watching Lady Bird. I had seen that it was nominated for some Oscars, so figured it must be good. It isn't good, it's fantastic.

Not everyone will enjoy this film as it's just not for everyone. Where Lady Bird stands out and why I believe it warrants 10 stars is that it mentally transports you to Lady Bird's world. You forget you're watching a movie because everything is done so well. I found myself feeling as though I was in the same room with the characters in this movie.

This is why we watch movies- to mentally go outside of our living rooms. Lady Bird achieves this. Best movie I've seen in a while.
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7/10
Good Directorial debut !
Lewis_Heather78729 December 2017
When you hear all the fantastic praise that a new Oscar bait film is getting, you should probably watch it. Even though I'm personally not the target audience or demographic for this film I still ended up liking the film quite a bit.

The biggest accomplishment and positive in the film is the directing by Greta Gerwig, which for a first time directing is an outstanding achievement. You honestly would not be able to tell if this was directing by an all time great or a newcomer. She has done an amazing job directing the film in this regard it has no faults at all. With this being her first film she has an extremely bright and interesting future ahead and I'm definitely now keen to see what she does next.

The other main positive of the film are the performances which across the board are fantastic, however there are a couple of standouts. Firstly Saoirse Ronan who is fantastic in the film and brings such heart to the character of Lady Bird. For me personally this is one of her best performances that she has done and only increases her reputation. Hopefully this will open up the door for her to get bigger roles more often, she is brilliant. The other standout in the film is Lady Bird's mother played by Laurie Metcalf, she is again incredible in the role and brings elements to her character that I think everyone will recognise in their own mother. She hopefully will get some awards buzz and maybe even a nomination.

Unfortunately though and I know that this is my own personal problem and fault that I feel this is film maybe a little overrated. This is partially to due my fault because well this isn't my type of film, I know thats not the films fault. I could never really connect to the story of the film but again thats my own opinion and fault, but I can understand how and why people really do connect with the story. Lastly the film is good is just nothing amazing or ground breaking in any sense so thats where I'm a little......not disappointed...... let down by the film because I was expecting a lot more considering the praise.

Overall its 70% out of 100 or 7 out of 10 its a good film and its a brilliant starting point for Greta Gerwig's directing career. As well as bringing us great directing it gives us two great performances that will really leave an impression on you after watching it. However because I couldn't connect to the film that much it didn't hit me as hard as it should emotionally, but again thats my problem really not the films. Best directing Oscar Nomination?
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3/10
Sorry...
barry-smith314 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I wish I could agree with the high-scoring reviews, but I cannot. This movie seemed flat, monotone, mildly entertaining. The lead was perfunctory...another disgruntled teen who desperately wants to get out of her home town and fly to the East Coast "where there is culture". New Hampshire and culture? Hmmm... Lady Bird clashes with her mom (Laurie Metcalf...who deserves 10 stars by herself). So, a teen clashes with her mom...wow...news flash. Dad loses his job...and seems to be just fine with that, even though they are running out of money. Weird. The supporting cast seems to be chosen to complete a requisite menu of characters: the overweight but beautiful-inside best friend, the gorgeous and wealthy but shallow new friend, the handsome but...surprise...gay boy. Somehow this lack of originality does not drive a strong story line. The crash and burn ending is, well, the only twist in this story...so, back home she goes, and realizes she really does love Sacramento. Perhaps Sacramento is a metaphor for almost every town in America, but the story never hints at that. So, sorry, this one just did not resonate with me.
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7/10
A teen's life, in all its annoying realism
Semisonic5 March 2018
Fighting with your parents over your freedom to decide for yourself, struggling with financial difficulties, trying so hard to impress others to actually feel like people care about you and pay attention, doing the stupidest things out of fear of being rejected otherwise.

These things, and a million of other ones, are what an almost grown up human being's life is about. Well, maybe not everywhere and not for everyone, but most of us could surely relate to what Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson goes through. What Saoirse Ronan did to her character is no small feat. With her porcelain doll beauty and those pale blue eyes, she goes out of her typical closed and emotionally restrained character and becomes someone who yells and screams and laughs and cries and breaks things on screen, making Lady Bird so intense that it's unbearable at some points.

Making the character of Lady Bird so intense and hard to handle is probably both the film's best feature and its most serious flaw. In all the multitude of coming-of-age movies, the kid characters are mostly childish and they do dumb things often - but then some uncanny wisdom comes upon them and they grow up in our eyes and suddenly become reasonable and - let's be honest about this - tolerable at last. Lady Bird takes a slightly different road of dropping that sugarcoating and leaving Christine what she is - conflicted, hysterical, inconsistent and, damn, annoying! Just like the character of Christine's mother struggles to write her a letter and to choose words that would both be kind and ring true, so does the audience have a hard time accepting Lady Bird's edgy self. I certainly found it hard to do.

It's curious why we people love the coming-of-age stories. The kids watch them to see that someone does understand and does care about who they are, to see someone else who'd tell them that they are not alone. And we adults watch them to seek hope that those chaotic and erratic creatures we once gave birth to are indeed our kin and that sometime soon you'd get on the same page and would be able to actually talk to each other like responsible people.

In terms of promising the older generations a magical realm in which their progeny will be delivered to their hands all mature and stuff, Lady Bird isn't too reassuring. Nor does it promise us that kids secretly understand everything and it's just a lack of communication - because it's just not true. But there's one thing about this story that redeems all the facepalm moments you experience watching those kids do their kid stuff. That, just like the kids are not alone in their struggle, so aren't their parents. So there's no reason to blame the world on yourself and drown yourself in guilt and anger begotten by it - 'cause you're no more guilty than the other guy.

So, if you have a bird you love - just set it free, and if it loves you back, it will return some day and somehow.
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9/10
Intelligent, honest, raw and real coming of age drama
danjakubik-904432 March 2018
This film shows excellent directing, writing and acting.
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10/10
A flawless film
hakrames10 March 2018
2017's Lady Bird is Greta Gerwig's masterpiece that will be remember and talked about for years coming. With its strong acting, fantastic directing, and flawless writing; this film is a grippingly hilarious 90 minute rom-com.

With the script of Lady Bird taking multiple years and countless rewrites to finally get to its final product, it was well worth the struggle and well satisfying to watch. Every line of dialogue in this film feels so real and doesn't once feel pushed or forced for the story to progress. That is thanks to the fantastic casting of the whole cast and crew. But mainly from the fantastic writing from Gerwig herself.

Directing wise this film looks beautiful with its variety of long uncut takes to its various montoges of what Christine 'Lady Bird' does with her friends and family just feels so real and makes the whole film feel like it was shot back in 2002. And even though this isn't Gerwig's first time behind the camera, it feels like she grew up there her entire life. Not a single shot feels out of place, not a single scene feels 'filler', not a single sound is not needed. This movie has the bare bones of what a very fast paced comedy drama needs to be just amazing.

All the cast in this film is amazing. Saoirse Ronan is beautiful in this film with her various mood changes and sporadic attitudes brought out by various characters and settings. Especially with her going from yelling at the top of her lungs to breaking down crying to screaming with just hate shooting from her eyes. Both Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet are also amazing in this film with their polar opposite characters in it that also have confusing and mixed emotions throughout too. And probably my favorite performance in the whole film is Lady Bird's mom in the film played by the amazing Laurie Metcalf, her love-hate relationship with her daughter in the film makes her relatable but lovable but also hateable all at the same, which I've never seen ever in a film.

This movie is a flawless teen drama, not a single part of this film has a 'teen drama cliche' in it and every time I thought it was going that way it would take a turn away from that. Lady bird is one of the most satisfying movies of the year and it deserves to be talked about highly by everyone who gets a chance to see it.

Lady Bird gets a 10/10
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6/10
Surprisingly enjoyable coming out of age tale
nikhilrampal28 February 2018
This may be the most poorly marketed movie. Awful trailer. Awful poster.

And so, I thank both the academy and golden globes (Something I've always wanted to say) for forcing me to watch this movie due to its accolades because i wouldn't have otherwise.

I would definitely recommend this movie. Quietly funny, emotional and very relatable.
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9/10
Saoirse Ronan shines
phd_travel4 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Saoirse Ronan has the ability to get the viewer's sympathy like no other actress. Her sweetness just makes all she is going through so much more involving and moving. The subject matter is a young girl in high school discovering relationships with boys and struggling with her very strange mother played by the excellent Laurie Metcalf. Things like this have been done before but never quite so lucidly. Watching her deal with her gay boy friend then the douche bag boy friend then her difficult mother are played out in such a spontaneous manner with very well written natural sounding dialog. Makes you want a part 2.
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8/10
A truly remarkable coming-of-age comedy
tmpsvita19 February 2018
A truly remarkable coming-of-age comedy, above all for its sincere, credible nature and it is not at all easy to be honest and sincere with a film of this kind, for the simple reason that in most cases these "coming- of-age "are often filled with clichés, stereotypes and commonplace, and more often than not they base their foundations precisely on these things. In doing so they are not credible and absolutely forgettable. Well this is not the case. The merit of an extraordinary script that is impeccably written, it is a mature, intelligent, often ironic, sweet, credible, intense and also very emotional script. Greta Gerwig manages this script in a superb way, despite her little experience (this is her second film as a director but first soloist) is extremely aware of the intensity of her film. The interpretations are also particularly notable and not only that of the protagonist, played by the talented Saoirse Ronan that with this role, in which she identifies perfectly, reaches its 3 nominations at the Oscars at only 23 years, it could be called a new Meryl Streep; but also the interpretations of the rest of the cast: from the young and promising Beanie Feldstein, to the most mature, and in this movie is also very good (so much to receive a nomination, the first in her career), Laurie Metcalf, up to two young masculine promises Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet, both discovered only in these two years (the first in 2016 with his performance in "Manchester by the Sea" is the second this year with "Call me by your Name". Unfortunately, however, from an extraordinary beginning, extremely ironic, fun, fresh, the film lost itself a little towards the middle, which is a little heavy, and then it recover itself in the final. Watching it, it came back to me, given their similarity in terms of the theme and the rhythm, another coming-of-age of 2016, "The Edge of Seventeen", also an excellent film that unfortunately was relatively forgotten and ignored.
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7/10
Unique and great!
rebeccalucy16 March 2018
A very unique and fun experience, with beautiful cinematography. Saoirse Ronan is definitely the best part of the film.

Most of the humour was sometimes subtle, and sometimes really surprisingly funny. All the actors were great and worked together extremely well. I liked how the teenager characters had flaws such as acne and extra weight, unlike most high school set films. The mother- daughter relationship is so unique, and is genuinely close to the reality.

The ending was quite sad but could be improved. It really leaves the audience without the closure needed for this type of film. A very good watch, for most ages.
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A Dream Start To Greta Gerwig's Directorial Career
CinemaClown16 March 2018
Exuding passion, affection & honesty throughout, Greta Gerwig's solo directorial debut is a labour of love that's heartfelt, nostalgic, whimsical, amusing & above all, genuine. Crafted with care, told with sincerity & radiating a sense of warmth from the first frame to the last, Lady Bird is an amalgamation of everything that one would imagine Greta Gerwig to be.

Set in 2002 in Sacramento, California, the story of Lady Bird follows a 17-year old high school senior who longs to attend college in a city that has culture. The plot covers her final year at high school where she participates in a theatre program, has a series of first-time experiences, and starts applying for out-of-state colleges in order to get away from her family & small town life.

Written & directed by Greta Gerwig, every aspect of Lady Bird screams her name right down to the bone. Every moment, every character, every interaction, every creative choice carries her signature. It's so tightly knitted with Gerwig's persona that the film defines her and she defines this film. And that gives it a uniqueness, an authenticity & an originality that's rarely found in a debut effort.

All the characters & their respective arcs exhibit sufficient depth & richness, their interaction carries a real vibe too, and their actions are just as relatable. The early 2000s setting is wonderfully recreated with era-specific fashion & musical trends and it captures that cusp of adulthood moment with finesse. Also present in high dosage is the quirkiness & effervescent wit that one associates with Greta Gerwig.

Despite all the coming-of-age elements, the core ingredient that drives Lady Bird from start to finish is the mother-daughter relationship and though we see them both arguing about the smallest of things, their underlying love is deeply felt at all times. Gerwig has created something that's personal, nostalgic & reminiscent of our own life and no matter how small or big, some part of it will strike a chord with almost every viewer.

Coming to the performances, Lady Bird packs a committed cast in Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Beanie Feldstein, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges & Timothee Chalamet, with Ronan & Metcalf impressing the most. Ronan brings a charm of her own to infuse life into a character that's tailor-made for Gerwig herself. Metcalf is even better and the mother-daughter chemistry between the two is electric. The rest of the cast is no slouch in their given roles and play their part responsibly.

On an overall scale, Lady Bird is a dream start to Greta Gerwig's directorial career and isn't just one of the best films of its year but is impressive enough to rank amongst the finest examples of its genre. A cinematic equivalent of joy that's as lively, friendly, cheerful, jubilant, gleeful, lighthearted, adventurous & vivacious as its creator, Lady Bird commences a new chapter in Greta Gerwig's life on the best possible note with a promise of greater things to come. Definitely worth a shot.
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8/10
A Thoughtful Coming of Age Tale
anselmdaniel2 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This review contains spoilers.

Lady Bird is directed and written by Greta Gerwig and stars Saorise Ronan as the titular character, Lady Bird. Lady Bird is a coming of age tale of a teenager preparing to enter college. Along the way, Lady Bird and her family encounter problems of their own.

Lady Bird is expertly written. Each of the characters feels distinct and has their own motivations and personalities. The writing and dialogue is the greatest positive the movie has to offer. Greta Gerwig has outdone herself by capturing her hometown feelings of Sacramento into the script. The story's heart and soul are in two characters, Lady Bird and her mother. The movie starts with these two discussing colleges. It is here that Lady Bird makes it clear what her intentions are. She dreams of leaving her past behind and going to college on the East coast. However, her mother does not agree with the plan as she sees Lady Bird as being selfish. The family had undergone financial crisis with much of the parental backstory being told through dialogue. The movie pulls at heart strings of bad teenage mistakes, family troubles, and parental failings. It is the ability to merge through the writing that elevates each of these individual tropes into a solid package.

I did find the movie a little blandly directed but that does not detract from the overall experience. I highly recommend Lady Bird.
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10/10
What happens after school?
GabrielMarinho110 March 2018
The omnipresent efervecence in the senior year is perfectly portraited in a simple, smart and dinamic coming-of-age story. The emotion transmitted in this movies isn't quite something you can put in words, if you've been through your teenage years you'll understand it, if you haven't, you will someday. The discoveries, the choices, the arguments, the parties, all the experiences that happen in that short period of time, culminate in completely exuberating (or desperating) days when they're brought toghether with an emancipating mind. Lady Bird, Christine's self-given name expresses exactly how her mind works, she wants her own life, simple as that. The reference to a flying bird may represent her desire into moving to New York, studying art and principally, getting out of her hometown, Sacramento, California. Saoirse Ronan gives probably the best work she's ever given, all of the anger and self-assurance is perfectly visible, quite violent sometimes, of course as teenage is in it's true form, brutal. It is really admirable that Greta Gerwig was able to put so much brutality in a delicate indie movie. This is not a film made to visually impress, it's just a story, told with a camera, with the humility necessary to make a movie like this. I dare to say we'll hear a lot from Greta in these next years, about stories that have the emotional appeal that is necessary to make us appreciate the days we are given, beacause as we're pretty well shown, they will change, and we will need to adapt to a new life. This movie proves that a decided woman can do whatever she wants, because after all, this movie is about the transformation of a girl into a woman, in it's true meaning.
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9/10
The coming-of-age story I never expected to hit me so hard
vmbennett15 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
As someone who went through the exact portion of their life that Lady Bird herself lived through not too long ago, this film pushed all the right buttons in order for me to leave the theater feeling very emotional and touched. I come from a relatively small, boring town in Pennsylvania and I ended up going to a university quite far from it. The college application process was just about as stressful as Lady Bird's, with just as much tension between my mother and I during it. And, of course, I went through normal soul-searching teenager feelings. The thing that struck me the most of all the film was the very end, the coming to terms with herself and realizing all the tension with her mother was the result of realizing that her mom just wanted the best for her and for her to be happy in the end. There's a looming guilt that come with her voicemail to her mother, and that's honestly exactly what I felt the first week of being at my new university. In terms of cinematography, the film never makes it hard to spot Lady Bird as she is very obviously made the dominant with her colored hair compared to everyone else in the film, as well as the fact the camera always seems to be entirely focused on her, because during the film there is a lot of non-verbal awareness of self that you begin to see on her face. The film's colors are also very pastel and muted, with soft lighting that makes the film feel like a memory or a dream, which fits the mood of the film and having it take place in the very early 2000's. That within itself makes it feel all more like my own nostalgia as that period of my own life, while being very young, is very dear to me. However, the one thing in the film that wasn't quite as light and muted was the inside of the house that Lady Bird and her family resided in. The dark colors of the walls and the purposely claustrophobic feel of the house reflect the way that Lady Bird doesn't really FEEL at home where she is, and the darkness is almost like the tension that is present between her and her mother throughout the film. The colors also become un-muted when Lady Bird finally goes to NYC and in the final shot of the scene. It leads itself to the somewhat grim but entirely real, no longer dream-like reality that Lady Bird is in: she's now living in a foreign place with no family or friends after having lived in the same place for her whole life with no one there to support her but herself. That very last shot is what I felt like I could relate too as well, the transition process in moving 300 miles away from home to Rochester, New York of all places (known for its bleak, cloudy days) and the guilt I mentioned earlier hits hard. I don't believe I'll be able to rewatch this movie any time soon, but I think that a few years down the line, maybe once I graduate and start working I will seek this film out and let these feelings wash over me again, and perhaps I'll feel them with less sadness but more nostalgia and will be able to self-reflect with them and realize how much I am capable of growing as a person. As a coming of age film, that's what it's all about, of course: letting people take a look back to see how similar or different their upbringings and life events were and how different you come out in the end.
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8/10
Funny, biting and never anything less than human
DJKwa11 February 2018
Funny, biting and never anything less than human, Lady Bird is an assured directorial debut for indie darling Greta Gerwig. Through her writing and directing, she seems to have absorbed the best qualities of frequent collaborator Noah Baumbach while infusing the film with a personality that feels decisively her own. The characters feel real, the dialogue is snappy and full of witty interplay and it's all neatly packaged into a brisk 93 minutes meaning Lady Bird never looses its edge.

In the titular role, Saoirse Ronan stars as Christine McPherson, a rebellious seventeen year-old who dyes her hair pink, eats communion wafers like snacks and insists that everyone call her Lady Bird. Living in the anaemic suburbs of Sacramento, California (as characterised by an opening quote from Joan Didion), the film follows Christine as she navigates her last year at a Catholic high school from shifting friendships, first loves and, of course, prom.

Despite containing all the requisite elements, calling Lady Bird a coming of age story feels reductive as the film ruminates on parenthood just as much as it does on adolescence. Christine's strained relationship with her mother is an integral part of the story and the depth afforded to her parents ensure they are not simply ancillaries to Christine's own personal growth.

Her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf), struggles to accept Christine for who she is, juggling her responsibilities as a mother with her willingness to provide unconditional love. She tells her daughter, "I want you to be the very best version of yourself that you can be", to which Christine replies, "What if this is the best version?"

On the other hand, Christine's relationship with her father, Larry (Tracy Letts), is less tempestuous but marked by a brewing sadness. Having recently lost his job and struggling with depression, Larry has to come to terms with the fact that his daughter will soon move out to go to college. The poignant scene the two share together on Christine's eighteenth birthday is pronounced by the mutual understanding that the transition into adulthood means letting go.

The film is remarkably well balanced in its depictions of both sides of the coming-of age narrative. The trials and tribulations experienced by both Christine and her parents' is why Lady Bird will likely feel relatable to audiences of all ages. Even so, Gerwig has stated that she wrote the character of Lady Bird as the opposite to how she was in high school. Perhaps then, Lady Bird feels relatable, as through Christine she has crafted a character for the rebellious, non-conformist streak within all of us.
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8/10
a rewarding, uplifting and funny passion project equipped with heart, brain and felicity
lasttimeisaw2 March 2018
One year ago, no one on the earth could have foretold that the next female Oscar BEST DIRECTOR nominee would be Greta Gerwig (the fifth overall after Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigeolow, the only winner), not even Ms. Gerwig herself, if I may presume, yet, miracle transpires in the form of LADY BIRD, Gerwig's solo feature directorial debut (previously she co-directed the Independent Spirt Awards nominated mumblecore NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS 2008 with Joe Swanberg), an effervescent coming-of-age story takes place in her hometown Sacramento.

Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Ronan) is a senior student in a Catholic high school, the film roughly covers her last year before starting her tertiary education, "Lady Bird", a named given to her by herself, has a headstrong streak written in her genes, like gazillions of other pubescent spirits peopled around our globe, she revolts against her quibbling mother Marion (Metcalf), and at the same time, desperately seeks for the latter's validation, she wants her mother to like her (as a person), not just love her (because she is her daughter), a sagacious point poignantly reverberates with audience in its universality and intimacy, and the truth is, there are many such sensible touches populated in Gerwig's stimulating script, which can be partially accounted for LADY BIRD's runaway success, because empathy and amenity are like ambrosia, really as scarce as hen's teeth under the designation of "chick flick".

Lady Bird embraces the "me against the whole world" scenario with brio and chutzpah, throwing back talk both at home and at school in order to snatch the evanescent one-upmanship, and makes erroneous choices in her romantic quests, both Danny (Hedges, unexpectedly versatile in projecting a tenderness that is contrarian to his braggadocious Oscar-nominated turn in MANCHESTER BY THE SEA 2016) and Kyle (Chalalmet, what a killjoy!) are anticlimactic episodes, the one with whom she attends the high school prom is actually her best friend Julie (Steffans), romance is transitory, but friends are for life, another lesson learned after her inept hobnobbing with the popular (yet vacuous) gal Jenna (Rush) in order to catch the attention of the cool boy Kyle.

All in all, the most intense bond is of course, the familial one, on her pursuance of severing the umbilical cord, Lady Bird eventually comes to terms with her christened name, her modest, imperfect family, her benevolent and supportive father Larry (a heartwarming Letts) is laid off and has been combating depression for a long time; her double-shift engaged nurse mother Marion's constant nitpicking just mirrors her own apprehension that she couldn't help her daughter to become the best version of herself in spite of the fact that she has maxed herself out. TV and stage veteran Laurie Metcalf is given a rare opportunity to shine on the bigger screen to epitomizes an ordinary mother's broader spectrum of parenting angst and she kills it, not just in that tear-jerking car-roving moment.

Time and again, Saoirse Ronan vanishingly conceals her ethnic traits and flawlessly transmogrifies herself as a flawed American teenager in this Bildungsroman, a fiery but sensitive, opinionated yet good-natured girl who only finds what home and family means when she finally flutters away on her own. Greta Gerwig's LADY BIRD is a rewarding, uplifting and funny passion project equipped with heart, brain and felicity, one simply hope these fantastic characters will be kept in Gerwig's next directorial outing, as we are compelled to wonder what will happen next to the extraordinary Lady Bird and her family.
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Sweet coming of age story with quirks
gortx4 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Greta Gerwig has been an "it" girl on the indie scene for several years. It may be a bit ironic that her most acclaimed movie would come when she stepped behind the camera with LADY BIRD (she previously co-directed NIGHTS & WEEKENDS, and co-starred as well). Here, Saorise Ronan is the stand-in Gerwig as a character named Christine, who like the real Gerwig, is a rebellious teen in Sacramento California who dreams of New York City.

Christine has re-dubbed herself "Lady Bird" and is going to a Catholic High School and is going through all the usual growing pains. Grewig has made a name for herself with her quirky characters and there's more than a bit of that to wade through here. It takes some time to get past the notion that Ronan is giving her own performance here and not just doing a Greta act (similar to many a Woody Allen lead performance by 'substitute' Woodys). As fiercely individualistic as Gerwig is as an actress, Ronan gives Lady Bird a bit of a softer and more vulnerable side that is more effective than if Gerwig had performed it herself. Kudos to her for embracing it.

Most importantly, Gerwig does an excellent job at keeping the movie rolling along at a brisk 93 minutes, with some scenes being literally seconds long - nothing self-indulgent here (although there is a scene or two that could have been allowed to breathe a bit). The cast, including several young actors is uniformly fine. Laurie Metcalf as her tough mother could have used a little leavening. As written and performed, she comes off a bigger harridan than is what was likely intended. Some of the offbeat mumblecore touches stick out as unnecessary, but, what separates LADY BIRD from so many of them (including, frankly, a number of Gerwig's movies), is that there is genuine heart and compassion here, not just ironic detachment. Further grounding things is a keen appreciation of middle class life with the scenes of shopping at thrift stores, window browsing for homes they can't afford etc. - or, as Lady Bird sardonically refers to it: "Coming from the wrong side of the tracks." Credit, too, for not ending in the conventionally expected way. Just a warm sigh.
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8/10
Saoirse Ronan shines as Lady Bird
manders_steve25 February 2018
This is a coming of age story about Lady Bird (Christine) McPherson, a final year high school student in Sacramento, California. The strength of the film is the depth of character and relationships between of Lady Bird, her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) and father Larry (Tracy Letts).

There are lots of coming of age movies, and this is one of the few I've seen in recent times that really did seem to have something new and interesting to say and show. Maybe some of these related to 'first world problems' or perhaps more accurately 'poor people's problems when looking at rich people' but the complexity and reality I found in the issues raised and the way they were addressed did not detract.

There are many commentaries about relationships, social settings and societal change relevant to the 2002 setting in this film, which I recall clearly as our elder daughter was in the transition from primary to high school around that time.

At times, it isn't easy watching; at times it's really funny and mostly it's encouraging and uplifting. If you have been through that transition from high school to university, employment, or whatever came next for you, I think you'll find something that resonates in this fine film.
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8/10
A sweet, heartwarming coming-of-age tale.
breheneyjames3 March 2018
'Lady Bird' is written and directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan as Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson. "Lady Bird" is name she gave herself as a rebellious act against her mother Marion played wonderfully by Laurie Metcalf. Lady Bird even remarks near the end film that 'some people won't believe in God but they'll just accept a name given to them by their parents'. Ronan's title character is one of the most rebellious and defiant lead characters of the year topped only by Frances McDormand's Mildred Hayes in 'Three Billboards'. It's very entertaining and at times poignant to watch her verbally spar with her mother over something as tedious as straightening a bed cover in a hotel room. This is testament to both the cast and Gerwig's script which keeps things feeling fresh and new in every scene.

Although I do like this film I don't quite love it like most people do and all the enormous praise it has received over the past few months as lead to being considered one of if not the best film of the year. For me it's not quite up there although it was very pleasant and entertaining to watch. There is a great sense of place present in the movie and it's clear that Gerwig and her title character really do actually love Sacramento as the latter begins to realize when speaking with a nun (Lois Smith) at her school towards the end of the film.

The movie has a great ensemble cast including Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet who all give decent turns as their respective vital characters. However, it really is carried by Ronan and Metcalf and the best moments are when they are sharing scenes together. It is crazy to think that Ronan who is good in literally everything is on her third Oscar nomination with this film. But then again considering the talent she has maybe it's not crazy at all but expected. So all in all, 'Lady Bird' is a sweet, heartwarming coming-of-age tale that pulls you in with its intriguing script and keeps you their with its magnetic performances.
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