Lady Bird ★★★

Gerwig's solo directorial debut is likeable enough, but feels like a retreat in sophistication from Frances Ha and Mistress America, which she co-wrote with partner Noah Baumbach. The latter of these, in particular, has a more insightful central relationship than the mother/daughter negotiations that are at the heart of this film. This isn't to suggest that the film doesn't work. It clearly will connect with certain audiences, but its depiction of Catholic school life and anxiety about the loss of virginity is packed with observations that we've seen before. Still, sharp dialogue and work from a solid ensemble (Ronan's American accent never falters) help this to go down easy.