Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.
Christine "Lady Bird" MacPherson is a high school senior from the "wrong side of the tracks." She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. LADY BIRD follows the title character's senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college.Written by
During a November 2017 interview on the NPR program "Fresh Air with Terry Gross," Gross asked Greta Gerwig why she chose the nickname "Lady Bird" for her main character (and therefore as the title of her movie) when most Americans (Gross included) were likely to then assume that the movie was about Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Johnson. Gerwig responded that the Johnson connection didn't occur to her while she was writing the screenplay, though she did admit that she later realized it was a source of confusion for many viewers, especially in Texas (where the Johnsons were from). Gerwig told Gross that she wasn't altogether sure where the name "Lady Bird" came from and that it was "one of the things that's so mysterious about writing," but that after she had written the script, she remembered a Mother Goose nursery rhyme, "Ladybird, ladybird / Fly away home / Your house is on fire / And your children all gone." Gerwig speculated that the poem "had lodged itself somewhere in my brain." See more »
When Lady Bird leaps out of the car at the beginning of the film she has not undone, and is no longer constrained by, the shoulder harness seen in previous shots. See more »
Fighting with your parents over your freedom to decide for yourself, struggling with financial difficulties, trying so hard to impress others to actually feel like people care about you and pay attention, doing the stupidest things out of fear of being rejected otherwise.
These things, and a million of other ones, are what an almost grown up human being's life is about. Well, maybe not everywhere and not for everyone, but most of us could surely relate to what Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson goes through. What Saoirse Ronan did to her character is no small feat. With her porcelain doll beauty and those pale blue eyes, she goes out of her typical closed and emotionally restrained character and becomes someone who yells and screams and laughs and cries and breaks things on screen, making Lady Bird so intense that it's unbearable at some points.
Making the character of Lady Bird so intense and hard to handle is probably both the film's best feature and its most serious flaw. In all the multitude of coming-of-age movies, the kid characters are mostly childish and they do dumb things often - but then some uncanny wisdom comes upon them and they grow up in our eyes and suddenly become reasonable and - let's be honest about this - tolerable at last. Lady Bird takes a slightly different road of dropping that sugarcoating and leaving Christine what she is - conflicted, hysterical, inconsistent and, damn, annoying! Just like the character of Christine's mother struggles to write her a letter and to choose words that would both be kind and ring true, so does the audience have a hard time accepting Lady Bird's edgy self. I certainly found it hard to do.
It's curious why we people love the coming-of-age stories. The kids watch them to see that someone does understand and does care about who they are, to see someone else who'd tell them that they are not alone. And we adults watch them to seek hope that those chaotic and erratic creatures we once gave birth to are indeed our kin and that sometime soon you'd get on the same page and would be able to actually talk to each other like responsible people.
In terms of promising the older generations a magical realm in which their progeny will be delivered to their hands all mature and stuff, Lady Bird isn't too reassuring. Nor does it promise us that kids secretly understand everything and it's just a lack of communication - because it's just not true. But there's one thing about this story that redeems all the facepalm moments you experience watching those kids do their kid stuff. That, just like the kids are not alone in their struggle, so aren't their parents. So there's no reason to blame the world on yourself and drown yourself in guilt and anger begotten by it - 'cause you're no more guilty than the other guy.
So, if you have a bird you love - just set it free, and if it loves you back, it will return some day and somehow.
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