Starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf
Most people have an interesting story or two about their years in high school. It’s a great talking point when you catch up with old school friends.
In this excellent movie we meet Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson played by Saoirse Ronan doing what any teenager would do: she lives by her emotions, is constantly searching for the cool people to be friends with, and tends to fall in love rather quickly. All the while, she picks fights with her mother (Laurie Metcalf), as her lifetime in California has her yearning to go to a sophisticated college on the East Coast.
This story is told during her senior year of high school and is all about trying to fly her mother’s coop and the mistakes she makes during each attempt. Her relationship with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) is strained; both are very opinionated and very strong willed.
Her mother isn’t verbally abusive or mean but very “matter of fact”. She asks her mother if she likes her, and her mom can’t answer the question directly.
Marion also works doubleshifts in the hospital’s psych ward to help keep Lady Bird in private school and views any negative comments about where they live or what they have as a slap in the face. Lady Bird’s father, Larry (Tracy Letts), is the quiet member of the family and is undergoing major work-stress and struggles of his own. He also acts as a buffer between his daughter and her mother, and when Lady Bird decides to apply to out-ofstate colleges (which she knows will set her mother off), her father promises to quietly help with the financial aid applications.
Lady Bird isn’t a particularly good student, and the guidance counselor lovingly reminds her that she might be setting her sights a little too high. But while the usual high school drama of falling for boys and getting into fights with girls who she’s been friends with for years might distract her for a while, she’s determined to get out of California and fly east, no matter what.
There is a lot of language, attacks on religion and personal matters discussed throughout the movie but it is all in context with the theme of the story so be warned, however I found this a most enjoyable if bawdy comedy. Both Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are nominated for Oscars this year and it wouldn’t surprise if both were to win.
Rated MA15plus 8.5 out of 10 a compelling love story.