Directed By: Greta Gerwig
The extremely talented actress turned deft writer and now promising director, Greta Gerwig ("Francis Ha", "Mistress America"), reveals her genius in “Lady Bird”, a delightful coming-of-age comedy-drama with so much to be apprehended and cherished.
The semi-autobiographical film is a love letter to her city of Sacramento in California and also a glorious portrait of family and friendship, personal dreams and social status.
The American actress of Irish descent, Saoirse Ronan, who excelled in John Crowley's drama "Brooklyn", stars as Christine McPherson, a quick-tempered 16-year-old who wants to be called by Lady Bird. Her rebelliousness can easily turn into radical actions such as throwing herself out of a moving car because of an argument with her nurse mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf). The clash between these strong personalities is very perceptible here, becoming the responsible factor for those typical love-hate bonds in the life of an adolescent. Besides, the title character hates Sacramento and doesn’t want to study at the Catholic high school, despite the scholarship granted to her. According to her mother, this financial help came at the right time since her depressed father, Larry (Tracy Letts), is currently unemployed. But the ambitious Lady Bird wants more and dreams about going to the East coast, where all the culture is. Unfortunately, her parents couldn’t afford to give her an education there, but that’s no reason to give up, though. The resilient Lady Bird already engendered a plan with the complicity of her benevolent father.
Meanwhile, at school, she hangs out with her best friend, Julie (Beanie Feldstein), and starts dating with an Irish Catholic boy, Danny (Lucas Hedges), who comes to the conclusion he’s gay after all, stressing out with the thought of having to confess the truth to his parents.
In a blink of an eye, the life of Lady Bird shifts from anonymity to the center of attention when she starts a more serious relationship with the popular Kyle (Timothée Chalamet), the leader of a cool rock band, who often puts on airs. Moreover, she cuts off relations with Julie, replacing her with the spoiled and pretentious Jenna Walton (Odeya Rush). However, and because life always reveals us if we're right or wrong, she realizes, sooner than later, that those moves were nothing but mistakes. Learning and growing!
Ms. Gerwig not only depicted the tempestuous mother-daughter relationship with extraordinary precision, but also set up each and every other interpersonal connection with outstanding truthfulness. The topic has been addressed countless times but few attained this level of credibility.
The characters are meaningful and fascinating, the narrative is no slouch, and the story, incredibly simple, is grandiose in terms of gracefulness and spirit.
This funny, tender, and brilliant film, thriving with witty observations and touching conclusions, is undoubtedly at the very top of my 2017 best list.