She is a small town girl with big dreams and an even bigger personality. Lady Bird is Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut in which she delivered a story which resonates with all of us.

Saoirse Ronan is Christine McPherson aka Lady Bird. In this coming-of-age teenage comedy-drama, she plays a senior high school character oozing with personality. She is a reminder to everyone of us who passed this phase in our lives with much self-entitlement and optimism about what the future holds. Having her whole life spent in Sacramento, California, she lived with the notion that there is something bigger waiting for her outside the city. And that she is more than capable of taking on it.

Small Kid, Big Dreams

As a writer, I rarely find myself connecting to the movies that I watch. Most of the time, I build this wall to create a sense of detachment from the story and to see it with a fresh, unbiased perspective. Lady Bird, however, managed to break that. Right from the very first scene with Lady Bird and her mother played by Laurie Metcalf, I started seeing myself in her character right away. Their argument about the future, particularly on where to go for college, opened the floodgates of memories. I did see myself in such situation and I am pretty sure that most of the audiences did too. Metcalf and Ronan had the perfect dynamic of a complicated mother and daughter relationship.

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf portrays a beautiful mother-daughter relationship in Lady Bird. | Credit: Universal Pictures
Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf portrays a beautiful mother-daughter relationship in Lady Bird. | Credit: Universal Pictures

Metcalf played the type of mom who wants nothing but the best for her family but circumstances stop her from showing it thus the reluctance and distance from her kids. Lady Bird then takes this against her, creating a deeper conflict between them. Aside from her mother and her brother, his father played by Tracy Letts is the only one she can go to if not for her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein).

The Senior Angst

Lady Bird is in the last year of her high school- one of the most memorable and nerve-racking moments in a teenager’s life. It marks both the beginning and the end. Aside from defining one’s identity, there is also the pressure of knowing what they want to be in life. Lady Bird’ experience is no different. She had to deal with the dramas of cliques, young love, and most of all, college admission. It can be said that it is a make-or-break situation for her.

Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in Lady Bird.
Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in Lady Bird. | Credit: Universal Pictures

Attending a Catholic high school was sort of the gag of the film. Her big and unapologetic personality is in contrast with the values of her school and the nuns and priests that run it. Seeing her take part in religious theatrical plays was almost ironic. During one of their plays, she found Danny (Lucas Hedges) who she had a romantic relationship with. It was cheesy, sappy, and all too amateur-ish which added to the authenticity of the film. It was met with a reveal which I saw coming from a mile away but the way the film treated it was pure and nothing short of emotional.

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is a film that should be seen. It is comedic, emotional, and most of all, authentic. Saoirse Ronan brought to life Gerwig’s vision for the character which reminded us of this particular phase in our lives. Metcalf and Letts handled their characters too perfectly which would want the audiences to give their parents a call or a hug. The film is Gerwig’s sweet love letter about growing up and simply making it. With its defined setting and fleshed-out characters, Lady Bird is a film too vivid with emotions.

Director: Greta Gerwig
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Timothee Chalamet
Binge-level: 5 out of 5 stars

Lady Bird opens exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Trinoma and Greenbelt 1).

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