Why New Zealand can be proud of Lady Bird

The massive amount of awards buzz heaped upon the film Lady Bird has taken everyone its cast and crew by complete surprise.

It's been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, and New Zealand can take pride - perhaps even a little credit - in its success, too.

It's a coming-of-age movie with a difference - the central love story is between daughter and mother

"She's one of these girls that you sort of want to be and want to be friends with," says Saoirse Ronan, who plays the titular main character.

"I wanted to create a movie that had a mother daughter relationship at the centre of it because I just think it's such complex interesting rich relationship," says writer-director Greta Gerwig.

It's art house darling Gerwig's first crack at making a film solo and clearly she's a natural, with the Oscar nominations just part of its massive awards success.

"It's crazy. It's so funny - someone asked me and Saoirse if we thought that would happen when we made the movie and we were like, no! No, not even a little bit," says Gerwig.

She's just the fifth woman in the Academy Awards' 90 year history to be nominated for Best Director.

"What I'm hopeful for is that we're really starting to shift those numbers. I think it's long overdue," says Gerwig.

Ronan's role as Lady Bird landed her her third Best Actress Oscar nomination at the age of 23.

"It's still great, it's brilliant and actually the very first time I got nominated I was in New Zealand, I was in Wellywood," she says.

That was for Lovely Bones with Sir Peter Jackson - who she still considers a good friend.

The second time was for Brooklyn - co-produced by Kiwi Finola Dwyer.

Ronan has a lot of love for New Zealand - we helped set the bar.

"The crews are so brilliant in New Zealand and always so brilliant and supportive of me. Being in that kind of environment when you were a kid gave you such a high expectations when you went on to the next thing."

So New Zealanders can be proud - there's a little bit of us in Lady Bird.

It's currently in select cinemas around the country.


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