Film Review: Lady Bird

It’s hard to think big when life feels so small. This is the exact challenge faced by 17-year-old Sacramento high schooler, Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson in Greta Gerwig’s Oscar nominated comedy-drama, ‘Lady Bird’. I know, another coming-of-age film, but Gerwig’s most recent project, set in 2002, has a point of difference to those other angsty, cynical films that have plagued the box office since the beginning of cinema.

Lady Bird/Christine (Saoirse Ronan) is a senior student at the local Sacramento Catholic School and finds herself suffering from a case of antiestablishmentarianism as well as curiosity of what lies beyond the city limits of the small and prejudiced town of Sacramento, California. While she faces the struggles of family conflict and transitioning to life beyond high school she takes on many new experiences with sex, drugs and learning what it means to be a true friend.

Gerwig perfectly and accurately articulates the teenage struggle of pushing the limits while also sticking to your morals. ‘Lady Bird’ features a raw honesty that is refreshing and hilarious. Relatable for anyone that has been a teenager, or a parent, this film is eye-opening and entertaining for youth and parents alike.

Saoirse Ronan is unforgettable, her perfect portrayal of the emotional turmoil and carelessness of a seventeen year old girl is nostalgic and simply beautiful. Similarly, Laurie Metcalf’s depiction of Lady Bird’s mother, Marion McPherson hits the nail on the head of the frustration experienced by the parent of a teenager.

Gerwig has explained that the cinematography of the film is inspired by a still-life aesthetic that places the audience in a somewhat ‘fly on the wall’ position. This aesthetic choice is extremely clever and effective for this genre, allowing viewers to feel they are observing the growth and sometimes insignificant events throughout a teenager’s everyday life.

‘Lady Bird’ is a stunning representation of what it’s like to be, and to raise a teenager with a lust for more. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it is one not to miss before Oscars Day on Sunday 4 April.

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