Christine calls herself Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan). She is a teenager, not particularly well-off, and doesn’t really fit in at her expensive Catholic high school, where her only and best friend is Julie (Beanie Feldstein) who is an outsider as well. She dreams of adventure and culture which both seem pretty unattainable where she is right now. But Lady Bird is in her senior year and that might be her chance to escape. Before that, though, she has stuff to figure out: which college she can go to, whether her mother (Laurie Metcalf) actually likes her, and also that entire thing with boys: what’s the deal?
Lady Bird is a really cute film with a great Saoirse Ronan. It might be a little too married to the conventions of a coming of age film, but I really did enjoy it.
With Gerwig’s quirkiness track record, I did expect Lady Bird to be a little more out there, a little more challenging in its narrative. It may already have helped if the fat Julie had been the protagonist of the film instead of the classically beautiful Lady Bird. But even apart from the choice of protagonist, it is pretty conservative in the way it tells its story.
Adhering to established narrative standards is not necessarily a bad thing, but there are so many coming of age films that I can’t help but hope for a little more deviation every now and again.
In any case, I really did enjoy it. I liked Lady Bird herself. The film was funny and sweet and it was nice to get a complex mother-daughter-relationship. We don’t see those all too often. But most of all what spoke to me were the three guys Lady Bird falls in love with. Admittedly Danny (Lucas Hedges) is more of a movie cliché, I think. But I definitely met dudes like Kyle (Timothee Chalamet) and the guy she meets at the end of the film.Both are an archetype of a different kind of asshole that women encounter in their lives. (And dammit if I wouldn’t have loved Kyle when I was a teen.)
Ronan is stunning in her role, as is Laurie Metcalf as Lady Bird’s mother Marion. Visually, the film is extremely nice in an unobtrusive way. And the entire film has a good flow and pacing, so that not a second of length makes itself felt. I’d definitely watch it again.
Summarizing: not revolutionary, but a nice watch.