Viewed – 28 July 2018 online rental
Saoirse Ronan has become one of those go-to names for me. This chameleon-like actress sometimes delivers roles that aren’t simply a recognisable name in a movie, but far more method for someone of her years. She has one of those faces that isn’t Hollywood starlet and can absorb a character fully. So we come to this coming of age drama about semi-rebellious Christine, who has given herself the name ‘Lady Bird’ as a way of standing out from the crowd and rebelling against a controlling but loving mother. Yeah she’s a typical teenager trying to find her place in the world and as we follow this story, ‘boys’ come in and out of her life, friendships are formed and lost and she grows to learn a lot about herself along the way.
I really love these kind of small town America dramas, and although the premise is fairly typical, it’s all done with a whimsical charm, realism and quirky sense of humour that proved utterly absorbing. Ronan is excellent as a young girl who is immediately likeable even if some of her actions made me want to shake her. Surrounding characters like a nerdy friend, an out of work dad and her mother (a brilliant Laurie Metcalf) also added to the movie’s personality. Lady Bird’s story and her journey tugged at the heart strings in places and felt very relatable … with those typical high school teenage yearnings and mistakes we’ve likely all made. I have to say that the movie gave me a sense that a big dramatic event was going to happen, such is par of the course for these kind of movies, but it never did … and somehow the movie is all the better for avoiding such a cliché.
As the directorial debut from Greta Gerwig this is nothing short of amazing … capturing a convincing portrayal of adolescence whilst at the same time being a love letter to her home town of Sacramento. Despite it’s general familiarity there’s a real effortless joy to behold in spending time in this setting and with these characters. Highly recommended.
Verdict: 4 /5