The Aventina

Lady Bird

Lucie Dumont, Reporter

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Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut “Lady Bird” is a semi-autobiographical story on the life of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), a senior at a Catholic high school in Sacramento California. The 5 time Academy Award nominated film takes place between 2002 and 2003 when Lady Bird struggles with the stress of college, boys, and friends. Her dream is to get away from the West coast and go to school in the East, but her mother (Laurie Metcalf) makes it clear that it is not an option, given the distance and the cost. The McPhersons are a struggling family whose patriarch loses his job and who are, as a result, reliant on the salary from the mother’s job as a nurse. The strain on the family increases, as Lady Bird and her mother clash on account of their strong personalities and stubbornness.
“Lady Bird” has been widely perceived as almost revolutionary because of the accuracy with which teen struggles are portrayed in Saoirse Ronan’s complex teen character. There’s a scene where Lady Bird and her best friend Julie are walking down a wealthy suburban street, looking at houses and picking out which ones they would like to live in. They decide on a big bright blue one which we later find out belongs to Lady Bird’s future boyfriend’s grandmother. This shows her obsession with other people’s lives and how unsatisfied she is with her own. Her dream of going to school in New York, her new friendship with the most popular (and richest) girl in school are all parts of her that are components of what she believes to be her dream life.
The connection to the teen side is surprisingly accurate, as coming of age movies rarely hit the spot in terms of actually connecting with teen audiences. The personal connection Greta Gerwig has with the story – a flawed, confused, stubborn story of a girl who has her heart set on a life that it is not necessarily hers – gives the work particular credibility. “Lady Bird” is a movie that hits the spot for not just teens and whose writing and direction from Greta Gerwig and raw acting from Saoirse Ronan give a natural and provocative view on struggling adolescents.

Photo via Vimeo

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