Lady Bird

‘Lady Bird’ is a comedy drama about family relationships. As we all come from a family in one way or another, films like these should easily resonate as the topics are usually the same with the high and low points challenging. Dealing with these issues can bring out the best and worst in people as ‘Lady Bird’ shows. Written and Directed with stylish flair by Greta Gerwig, ‘Lady Bird’ is an arresting essay in the trials and tribulations of growing up and familial life.

Christine (Saoirse Ronan) attends a Catholic high school. Preferring to go by her nickname ‘Lady Bird’, she grapples with what life throws at her. Dealing with her over-bearing mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) and friends, she has a lot on her plate. Christine’s daily hassles nearly take their toll on her tough exterior with a crisis always around the corner.

There’s nothing more exciting than watching the debut feature of a new talent. Gerwig is someone to watch as she puts a lot of herself into ‘Lady Bird’. It almost plays like a documentary as the camera eavesdrops into Christine’s emotional dilemmas. Based on situations in her own life, Gerwig directs with keen authenticity without resorting to melodramatics. The characters and emotions are very real with the humour and drama blended perfectly. Little feels forced in what Christine and her friends face as they attempt to find their place in the world.

Ronan, Metcalf and their co-stars also make ‘Lady Bird’ compelling viewing. They highlight the best parts of Gerwig’s astutely written script due to their realistic performances. Whilst the interaction between Christine and her mother are occasionally uncomfortable, that’s the whole point of ‘Lady Bird’ as it meditates on the problems of teenage and parental life. The cinematography deftly captures their arguments in extreme close-up that forces viewers to join in the melee. The subversive look at the catholic school system is interesting as well with the typical clichés in other coming of age school movies absent.

‘Lady Bird’ isn’t the usual type of family film seen. ‘The Brady Bunch’ it isn’t and it’s the better for it. With a solid cast and strong script it rarely falters as it discards false sentimentality in favour of authentic freshness making for an unusual but captivating outing.

Rating out of 10: 8

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