Lady Bird

Lady Bird ★★★★½

Thinking about this line from K. Austin Collins's review: "But the real conflict in Lady Bird isn’t one of money, per sé. It’s the idea that dreams, and the future, are by definition beyond reach. And sometimes beyond our means. The pain, which is also the joy, of Lady Bird is that its characters confront this over and over. It’s built into the movie’s bones."

It's this lower-middle class class consciousness that distinguishes Lady Bird from movies like Edge of Seventeen (existing in a world of casual wealth, a Portland where it's just assumed that one has a pool) or the ghastly Pretty in Pink. It's not just about a young person's fantasy of escaping to a bigger, grander life. It's about the drive to deflate and limit your loved one's expectations in order to protect them from the pain of failure and disappointment. To kill their dreams.

That we know this is more or less the autobiography of a woman who did escape into success and stardom only makes the mother's tragedy all the more crushingly poignant.

Sean liked these reviews