Lady Bird

Lady Bird ★★★★

High school coming of age drama and sometimes comedy (dramedy with heavy emphasis on drama) directorial debut by Greta Gerwig. She also penned the script. Stars Saoirse Ronan as Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson. Lady Bird's domineering, equally conflicted mother is played skillfully by Laurie Metcalf. The dad (Tracy Letts) is the least developed character of the trio, and that's a missed opportunity. The dad could do more to get the two women on the same page, but instead he is weak and stays out of it.

The script tackles a deep character portrayal of a senior high school teenager facing a number of topics: identity crisis, religion, virginity, college aspirations. family money problems (her father loses her job and struggles at his age to find another) and more. The excellent script would be nothing without a skilled lead performance to pull it off. Saoirse Ronan absolutely nails the complexity with the right amount of innocence and tart. Lady Bird is someone viewers can't take their eyes off.

No spoilers, but for me the ending is what everything hinges upon in a movie like this, where the first and second act sing, does it finish? This is where I felt it didn't have the same energy. Kind of flat and just ... over. There were unresolved resolutions needing to complete this film. A missing epilogue. Empty wine bottles in a case. I realize that was by design, but it left the rest of the canvas that was painted so beautifully just incomplete.

So, I'm not in the camp who thinks this is better than Little Women, but it's pretty darn close and an amazing first film. Greta Gerwig is a real talent to watch. Recommended.

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