Review: Lady Bird is enthusiastically, defiantly cheeky

It's 2002, in Sacramento, California. Our titular Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) is in her senior year of high school and struggling with pretty much every single relationship she has, including the one with her given name, Christine.

She haggles with the nuns at her very Catholic school over what her future holds, she haggles with her parents, particularly her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalfe) over the exact same thing.

She sees nothing but a big city life full of excitement and drama, her mother sees something far safer and suburban. Her poor father Larry (Tracy Letts) simply referees.

Her BFF Julie is her closest confidant, and she makes no secret of the fact she of course has grand aspirations in the love department.

Lady Bird first sets out to fall in love with geeky Danny (Lucas Hedges) but that ends rather unexpectedly before she is forced to focus her attentions on the enigmatic cool kid, Kyle (Timothée Chalamet).

And it's about here where our Lady Bird starts to make some "interesting" choices, which spiral her into some even more challenging times.

If some of this feels a little familiar, you'd be right. Growing up is hard to do and there have been countless movies good and bad made about that fact.

Rest assured though, this one is one of the good ones.

Lady Bird review.
Lady Bird Photo credit: A24

Writer/Director Greta Gerwig brings her own personal story into play, delivering her Lady Bird with an enthusiastic yet defiant cheekiness, never once losing sight of the real story.

The Hollywood Foreign Press loved it so much, they gave it a Golden Globe for Best Film Musical/Comedy.

Saoirse Ronan too won a Golden Globe for this performance. How she fares in the Oscars will be interesting, but she is inescapably charming laced with a welcome dose of oftentimes infuriating eccentricity.

Whether you relate to her personally will be proven only in the viewing, but I would argue the beating heart of this story - of mother and daughter - this is where the universal truths in the story hide.

Laurie Metcalfe is just wonderful, the highlight of a film brimming with them, their mother/daughter chemistry undeniably authentic. 

I also have my beady little eye on young actor Lucas Hedges. He was an understated tour de force (and Oscar-nominated) in Manchester by the Sea and a downright scene-stealer in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

And to watch him here, throwing me a sudden and quite unexpected left hook curve ball straight into my heart has completed his impressive trifecta for me. I can't wait to see what he does with me next.

We are blessed with a slew of sensational cinema right now as the awards season darlings make the big screen here but I urge you not to lose sight of these little gem, Lady Bird is well worth your while; she certainly won me over.

Four-and-a-half stars.


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