Lady Bird is a comedy drama written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Just by the title alone, I thought this was a movie about the wife of LBJ, whose name was Claudia Alta Johnson but was affectionately nicknamed Lady Bird by her nursemaid because she thought Claudia was as “purty as a ladybird”. To my surprise, Lady Bird is as far from a story about a president or his wife as a story can get. Instead it is a story about a typical high-school senior and her turbulent relationship with her mother.
Lady Bird is set in Sacramento, California in 2002-03 and tells the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) who is a senior student at a Catholic high school and is hoping attend an ivy league college in a city with lots of culture. The problem is, her family is financially strapped and her mother, Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf) constantly reminds the family of their financial woes.
— SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW —
Trying to make the best of her situation, Lady Bird joins the school theater program along with her best friend Julie Steffano (Beanie Feldstein) and starts intimately dating Danny O’Neill (Lucas Hedges). However, her relationship with Danny is short lived when she catches him making out with another boy in the bathroom stall. Lady Bird moves on at her mother’s request, taking a job at the coffee shop where she meets her next boyfriend, a musician named Kyle (Kyle Scheible). Lady Bird gives Danny’s grandmother’s home as her address to appear wealthy and drops out of the theater program. At the coffee shop, she consoles Danny after he expresses his struggle to come out. Lady Bird discovers that her father, Larry McPherson (Tracy Letts) has lost his job and has been battling depression for most of his life. Despite all, she begins applying to east-coast colleges and is placed on NY colleges wait lists. At this point, Lady Bird picks up with some good points and some interesting resolutions that made the movie worth while to those who relate to this type of saga.
Personally, I found Lady Bird slow and somewhat boring. The answers to their problems were obvious to me so I didn’t really get much from the movie and I definitely didn’t think it was Oscar worthy. The acting was brilliant and the story was not alien. I’m sure many would be able to relate to the dysfunction that surrounded this family. There’s much more to be heard and seen but I didn’t want to spoil it — Check it out, there may be something in it for you!
[Lady Bird is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.]