Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is unhappy with the name her parents gave her at birth, and as such has made the decision to christen herself ‘Lady Bird’. With this new name comes a fabricated personality and the ability to live the life she has created under her pseudonym, rather than the one she believes to be fit for a Christine.
Lady Bird has a normal life. She lives at home with her parents (Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts), and her brother (Jordan Rodrigues) and his girlfriend. The family has never been particularly wealthy, but have always managed to get by. She gets through school the way most people do – confiding in her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) and discussing matters Christian schoolgirls ought not even be aware of.
Of course, she also faces all the same problems – growing up, losing friends, struggling with money, fitting in, struggling with boys, getting accepted into college… Lady Bird mentions that she lives on the wrong side of the tracks, and it’s not simply a metaphor. 2002 Sacramento, to her, is not the place for a teen with a burgeoning social life – or hopes of one, for that matter.
Saoirse Ronan (pronounced “Sur-sha” – you’re welcome) is captivating and wonderful, perfectly encapsulating what it’s like to grow up and live the ‘stressful’ life of a teenager. Put simply, Lady Bird is a snapshot of an adolescent life – as if someone were to simply step into Christine’s life, record a short portion, and then depart. Nothing is omitted, no matter how bleak – everything is laid bare.
Lady Bird is nothing we haven’t seen before, but it’s more honest than most coming-of-age dramas. It’s as much about Ronan’s character’s relationship with her mother as it is her perspective on life, and it’s a pair of eyes that most people could do to look through. Greta Gerwig’s picture is as virtuous and sincere as they come.
In cinemas: February 15, 2018
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Odeya Rush
Directed by: Greta Gerwig