Greta Gerwig Delivers a Delightful Directorial Debut with ‘Lady Bird’

GameStop, Inc.

Lady Bird

“Do I look like I’m from Sacramento,” asks Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson asks (Saoirse Ronan) of her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) at the start of Lady Bird. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird is set in Northern California in late 2002 and likely sees the actress-turned-director mining her youth in the California capitol for her unique coming-of-age story. Much in the same way that Gerwig made a name for herself as the lead in a number of independent favorites with her bubbling charisma and natural affability, Gerwig brings that same feeling to Lady Bird, which is smart, thoughtful, and hilarious as it looks at the life of an outsider trying to find herself amidst the unresolved questions of her future, namely which college she’ll be attending the next fall.

In the McPherson household, money is constantly a concern for Marion and her husband Larry (Tracey Letts). Those financial concerns are affecting the tentative plans for Lady Bird to choose the college she wants to attend, her parents lobbying for her to stay in the area while the young woman wants to make the big move to the East Coast. The parental dynamic isn’t too unlike many American households, with the mother having to take the more stern position while the father happily takes the role of good cop. Though she cares deeply for her daughter, Marion has a way of sniping at her daughter with ice-cold critiques of her appearance and demeanor, a well-intentioned and unwitting verbal cruelty at times.

In school, Lady Bird has a hard time fitting into the button downed Catholic high school which she attends. At least Lady Bird has her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) to help get through the treacherous world of authoritarian nuns and dull subjects. The young women find an outlet in the school’s theater program, and that’s where Lady Bird meets her first love in fellow theater kid Danny (Lucas Hedges). However, that romance fizzles in a shocking fashion and it’s not long before Lady Bird finds herself infatuated with Kyle (Timothée Chalamet), a would-be bad boy in a band who rolls his own cigarettes and reads Howard Zinn. In order to get closer to Kyle, Lady Bird distances herself from Julie and makes friends with Jenna, a snobbish young woman of extremely wealthy parentage. Trying to fit in with a crowd by being something she’s not brings forth a whole new set of complications for Lady Bird as she approaches the end of her high school life.

Lady Bird really captures the mother-daughter relationship in a manner unlike any recent film, retaining an emotional weight to the sometime contentious relationship while still finding plenty of humor in the generational bickering. Both Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan bring this complex relationship to life and you’re able to feel for both sides of this divide when they’re engaged in another drawn war of words. Gerwig never allows these characters to lose their warmth even the arguing between the two pushes them into untenable corners, unleashing verbal jabs that hit the most vulnerable areas.

Greta Gerwig also captures that uneasy feeling of high school, those lingering questions of self-discovery that plague the mind of a teenager while always retaining a vibrant wit about it. The lead character must learn that attempting to be someone else in order for the approval of others is dead end road that only yields temporary results, and those results may have created a whole new set of complications with those closest to you in good times and bad. Like every aspect of Lady Bird, Gerwig never loses sight of the film’s comedic content, always injecting a well-timed laugh in the midst of the teenage drama swirling around Lady Bird.

Lady Bird is the latest in a string of coming-of-age films to come from female filmmakers that combine humor and heart that are redefining the teenage genre (other recent examples include Edge of Seventeen and Diary of a Teenage Girl). Greta Gerwig has been a captivating star for some time, but now she’s a captivating writer-director working on the highest level. Gerwig’s Lady Bird is so good as it balances its drama and laughs with an astute sense of tone that amplifies whatever is going on in the hearts and minds of these characters, even to the point that a scene involving Dave Matthews Band isn’t insufferable. We already knew that Greta Gerwig was already immensely talented, but Lady Bird just goes to show that she hasn’t presented the full extent of her talents until now and Gerwig will be a major force in filmmaking for years to come.

Lady Bird
  • Overall Score
4.5

Summary

The writing-directing debut of Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird is a special coming-of-age tale built upon genuinely funny moments and an emotionally honest core.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Eric Bana Talks ‘Force of Nature: The Dry 2’ – Interview

Eric Bana Returns for the sequel to ‘The Dry‘ in ‘Force...

Letitia Wright’s Talks about her Latest Film ‘Aisha’ – Interview

Letitia Wright’s latest film, ‘Aisha‘, a story about immigration, resilience, friendship...

Blake Crouch and Matt Tolmach Talk ‘Dark Matter’ Coming to AppleTV+ – Interview

‘Dark Matter‘ a science fiction thriller series based on the novel...

Event News Event Reviews
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Takes You to A Whole New World at Segerstrom – Review

Disney’s Aladdin takes the audience on a thrilling chase and a wonderous place...

Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach on The Queen Mary this Halloween

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach for the...

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice’ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the Arts – Review

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice‘ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part something: Hermione and the Mini-gun pt 2

Have a lead salad instead!

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part ?: Hermione and the mini-gun pt 1

It can't fire more than 6,000 per minute!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Kurt v Sid – HASTA!

Hasta La Vista Baby!

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...