Lady Bird

By Angie Raphael

4 stars

Many women will probably come close to shedding a tear while watching Lady Bird, which so honestly explores the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters during those tough teenage years. Even if your childhood was not quite as intense or dramatic, there are still plenty of relatable moments. Artistic teenager Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is in her final year of Catholic school and is planning, hopefully, for college life. During the year, she experiences love, prom and new friendships. But through it all is her relationship with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), who seems harsh to Lady Bird but is trying her best. Ronan and Metcalf have strong chemistry and both give powerful performances, especially the former who is so charming in her rebellion. Meanwhile, writer/director Greta Gerwig is meticulous with every aspect of this semi-autobiographical film. The significance of the film’s core theme and the fact that it is spearheaded by a woman with female leads should not be overlooked, particularly given the constant battle in Hollywood to get films like this made. But importantly, Lady Bird still manages to portray men in different ways too, including a doting father, an attentive teacher and a selfish boyfriend. Lady Bird is a well-rounded film with some thoughtful character development. It is also incredibly funny in an authentic "real life" way. I am pleasantly surprised this independent film snuck into the best picture Oscar race and hopefully the buzz around Lady Bird will encourage more people to watch it.