Lady Bird (M18)
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf
Directed by Greta Gerwig
Greta Gerwig, the acclaimed indie actress best known for her roles in Frances Ha and Mistress America, makes her directorial debut with this charming, bittersweet and loosely autobiographical tale about growing up in Sacramento, California circa 2002.
Saoirse Ronan is delightful as Gerwig’s surrogate, Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson, a precocious high schooler who does what most 17-year-olds do — being restless and rebellious, always plotting to escape her humdrum suburban existence.
Teens are parochial; they tend to think that the world revolves around them. But Lady Bird, which is vying for five Oscars — including Best Picture — doesn’t just revolve around the titular teen and her mood swings and shenanigans.
This is as much a coming-of-age story as it is a letting-go story of Lady Bird's struggling parents, portrayed by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalf (aka Sheldon Cooper’s mum on The Big Bang Theory); their tender and oftentimes cantankerous scenes with their daughter are also the film’s most unforgettable ones. (***1/2)