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Lady Bird

July 5th, 2019   |   Updated on February 14th, 2022

Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson is a high school senior from the “wrong side of the tracks.” She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school.

LADY BIRD follows the title character’s senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college.

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Movie Reviews: “Lady Bird

Movie Review: SMH

Now, with her partly autobiographical film Lady Bird, she’s made another leap. The film has secured her a Best Director nomination in this year’s Oscars, making her only the fifth woman ever to be nominated in the category. And her screenplay is also in the running.

The typical Gerwig woman is a mass – and frequently, a mess – of contradictions. She’s well-meaning and naive yet so self-assured that she’s often caught way out of her depth. She’s also very funny, thanks to Gerwig’s impressive command of the deadpan double-take, the ingeniously designed non-sequitur and the highly awkward moment. Now, in Lady Bird, we can see where she’s sprung from.

It’s a coming-of-age story set in Gerwig’s hometown, Sacramento, California, where Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is about to graduate from her Catholic high school and go to college. Which college? This is the question. Her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf) favors somewhere close and affordable. But Christine, who has renamed herself Lady Bird as a way of helping her to find what she imagines to be her “true identity”, is set on escaping to the East Coast and a life of constant intellectual stimulation.

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Movie Review: STANDARD

Californian teen rebel Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) hurls herself out of a moving car because her mother, Marion, is driving her nuts. When we next see her she’s wearing an arm-cast scrawled with the words “F*** you, Mom”. This stunningly acted, deceptively simple tragi-comedy makes self-harming seem funny. Or rather, with savage wit, suggests we can self-heal by throwing caution to the wind.

Our heroine (a scholarship girl about to graduate) has two goals. Lady Bird wants to be accepted by a group of rich kids, including caustic windbag Kyle (Timothee Chalamet, Oscar-nominated for Call Me By Your Name). She wants to apply to an expensive East Coast college without Marion (Laurie Metcalf, perfect as an overworked, cash-strapped psychiatric nurse) smelling a rat.

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Movie Review: THE TIMES

The coolest people often come from the dullest places — David Bowie from Bromley, George Clooney from Ohio, Prince from Minneapolis. So it is with Greta Gerwig, actress, writer, director, queen of mumblecore — the uber-hip American film movement — and one half, with the writer-director Noah Baumbach, of indie cinema’s premier power couple. Before Gerwig began moving in bohemian circles, taking courses at liberal arts colleges and lolling in elegantly distressed Brooklyn apartments, she grew up in Sacramento, the deeply unfashionable capital of California.

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