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Lady Bird: Review
Lady Bird is the directorial debut of the audacious and clever filmmaker, Greta Gerwig. She has written and directed a film that has been told many times before, but with great love and great care. We have seen the troubled teenager story time and time again. It is universal, and we've all been there before. We've lived through it. We know what it's like to want to be on our own, away from home and from your family. To fight with friends and with your parents. To fall hopelessly in love only to get your heart broken several days later. But, it is in the way this story is told and presented that can conjure up so many good memories from your past that you just want to stay there and relive them all.
As I write this review, I am amazed at how much time has passed since I have been in high school, given the fact that this movie takes place in 2002 when I was a sophomore, and I too was in theater like our main character Christine who goes by the name, "Lady Bird" which she gave to herself. Films from that era are now period pieces, and I feel older than ever when I see the flip phones, the cars, and the fashion. It's jarring to hear the music of that time and to hear the lingo, such as, "That's tight," and realize it was nearly two decades ago. But just recreating the time period isn't enough. You have to feel and understand these characters. More than a two dimensional teenager girl, Lady Bird is stuck in Catholic school for her senior year, and living in Sacramento which she deems as the "Midwest of California."
Between an overbearing mother, played convincingly by Laurie Metcalf, who actually means well, and the strict conformity of Catholic school, Lady Bird also deals with first boyfriends, sex, popularity, and a desire to be accepted at a well established college, one preferably in the East Coast, and far away from Sacramento.
Irish actress, Saoirse Ronan disappears into her role, becoming one of the most relatable characters in recent memory.
As a preteen, my family had moved to Riverside, a small city an hour east of Los Angeles. An hour may not seem as bad to you, but to a child with no car to come and go as he pleases, I had felt like I moved to a tiny town in Oklahoma. But as with any place, after so many years it becomes home. You have favorite spots that you love to visit. That local movie theater you love to escape to, and that bar where you and your friends sing karaoke. You learn to appreciate your surroundings. The rolling hills and towing mountains that protects the valley you reside in. For Lady Bird, it is the winding banks of the river. The thick shrubbery and trees that separates city from farmland, suburbs from large empty fields.
It is not until you are far and away that you start to miss home. You miss the people that have shaped you into the person that you are today. That is what Lady Bird is about. It is about that relationships that drive you crazy, and that street corner that you've seen for the hundredth time. It is about all the little things that leave an imprint on you, and that you leave your imprint on.
This is far from a perfect movie, it touches on all the conventional tropes of a small Indie film, but it is made with so much love it is impossible to hate. The movie ran a little long but I didn't care. It could have gone on for another two more hours and I would have stayed in my seat for the tremendous nostalgia that it massively left me with.
Four and half stars for, Lady Bird.