LADY BIRD Review: 10 (Powerful Women and their Powerful Ways)
There aren't enough feminine voices in Hollywood. There aren't enough roles, directors, or opportunities. Recent allegations rocking the industry only doubles down on this truth. Women in Hollywood, like other industries, are second class citizens.
Which is why I can say without a doubt that LADY BIRD is the film America deserves right now. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, and Lucas Hedges. This is Gerwig's directorial debut, and a film that has a lot of biographical qualities to it, according to the director. The film clearly feels like a passion project and its strength comes from the resonating sense of emotional passion and turmoil that come along with family conflict.
Set in Sacramento in 2002-03, Christine (Saoirse Ronan) is a high school senior who prefers to call herself "Lady Bird." She attends a private Catholic school and is looking to college as an escape from her "boring" life. Lady Bird's strong will is in constant battle with her equally opinionated and strong-willed mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf). Marion is a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. The film follows Lady Bird over her senior year--through friends, love, college searches, secrets, and more than a few tantrums. Every word of dialogue feels honest and true. The film offers moments that come from the doldrums of life along with the emotional turning points of adolescence. Saoirse Ronan captures all of the teen angsty moments without going over the top or moving into a caricature. LADY BIRD is proof positive that she is one of the best actresses working in Hollywood. Full Stop. Laurie Metcalf is her equal, however, as a mother whose fight to be right includes moments of caring on one hand and destruction on the other. Any mother or daughter can connect with this tumultuous relationship. And yet despite its sometimes painful moments, this mother/daughter bond also has some beats to cherish.
LADY BIRD is a film that will resurface in the coming weeks when award season hits. There might be more than a few who hadn't heard of it or have seen it. Don't be one of them. Seek this film out. You will be glad you did.