“Lady Bird” is an outstanding coming-of-age film and has enjoyed both commercial and critical success. It took home Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, and Saoirse Ronan, who stars as the lead, also racked up a win with Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
The film follows high school senior Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan), who is set on escaping her small suburb of Sacramento. Although coming-of-age is a story that has been retold over time, Greta Gerwig’s (writer and director) interpretation is appealing to audiences in the uniqueness of Lady Bird. The teen, painted as angsty and sometimes over-dramatic, is willing to literally throw herself out of a moving car rather than argue with her mother about her future.
As the story develops, Lady Bird often experiences conflict with her mother, who feels as though she has dedicated her life to being able to provide for her daughter, only to find that her daughter wants nothing more than to flee her current situation. This urge for change and freedom is an aspect of the film that many college students can relate to as they begin their own journey, deviating from the road of familiarity. More significantly, students may connect to the feeling Lady Bird experiences of having different aspirations than the ones laid out by those who have provided for you. Lady Bird’s journey of search and exploration creates a universal relatability that whirls in the audience and provides a means of bonding with the character.
Ronan’s performance feels raw and exceptionally portrays the hope and perseverance Lady Bird has for herself as a character. Despite her feelings of doubt—expressed even when she claims to her mother that this may be the best version of herself—she works towards improving her future, exemplified by pursuing her dream of studying across the country despite the opinions of those around her.
Though subtle, the musical score of the film beautifully ties to the tone of the story. Many of the scenes stood out vibrantly due to the array of rich colors within the shots, which reflect Lady Bird’s colorful personality. Additionally, these vivid scenes serve well in effectively presenting the setting to the audience, allowing us to sympathize with Lady Bird and more clearly understand her motives behind wanting to fly away.
With five Oscar nominations on the horizon, it is no surprise that “Lady Bird” has succeeded in setting itself apart from the mainstream film industry, familiarizing audiences with an undeniably relatable female heroine whose story sets the stage for future women whose stories equally deserve to be told.
Film: “Lady Bird”
Director: Greta Gerwig
Release: Nov. 3, 2017