“Lady Bird” is a coming-of-age story for all


Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons,

Lady Bird and her mother have a poignant heart-to-heart in this scene from “Lady Bird,” which is a critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated film.

By Nora Holland, Arts Editor

“‘Lady Bird’? Is that your given name? Why is it in quotes?”

“I gave it to myself. It’s given to me by me.”

Lady Bird is a new coming-of-age film about the life of high school senior Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson.

The movie focuses on family relationships – mainly the chaotic one between Lady Bird and her mother – as well as financial instability, friendship, the stress of the college application process and teenage romance.

The overall description of Lady Bird might seem repetitive and cliche, but this movie blows the definition of coming-of-age movies out of the water. The movie not only entertains the audience with witty comments, surprising stunts and dysfunctional romances, but also illustrates the pains and experiences of growing up in a complex and beautiful way.

Lady Bird, played by Saoirse Ronan, is relatable in all shapes and forms.  Her character repeatedly struggles with her family, friends and school because of her desire for individuality and sudden impulses. Anyone can find a part of themselves within her. She is the best friend and the worst daughter; headstrong yet compassionate; she is lovable, recklessness and all.

Lady Bird is Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut. Gerwig, a native of Sacramento, California where the movie takes place and born in the same generation as Lady Bird, includes a great deal of personal experience within the film. This addition of memories from the director’s adolescence makes it all the more endearing and powerful.

The charismatic characters are hard not to fall head over heels for. With a strong cast, including Ronan, Laurie Metcalf as her mother Marion McPherson, Timothée Chalamet as Kyle Scheible and Tracy Letts as Larry McPherson, Lady Bird has been filling up movie theatres all over the country.

According to Box Office Mojo, it is estimated that the total amount of the film’s domestic box office profits from its premiere on Nov. 3 2017 is about $36,902,139.

The soundtrack of Lady Bird perfectly captures the 2002-2003 era it takes place in while simultaneously highlighting the intense emotions felt in different scenes throughout the movie. Songs like “As We Go Along” by the Monkees and “This Eve of Parting” by John Hartford reinforce the reflective, almost nostalgic feeling in particular scenes with soft voices and guitar, while other hits such as “Snoop Dog, Baby” by Reel Big Fish and “Always See Your Face” by Love brighten the mood and encourage the audience to get up and jump around screaming like Lady Bird when she gets her first kiss.

Although none of the high schoolers in the movie were played by actual teenagers, Lady Bird touches base with basic teenage struggles: bad grades, losing friends, lying, rebelling against parents, dating, breakups and applying for college. It also goes into more complicated plot points, such as the constant rivalry Lady Bird has with her mother and how she continuously tries to gain her mother’s approval and attention. Comparing attention to love is a big theme within the movie and is brought up multiple times to prove a point.

The cinematography in Lady Bird can only be described as stunning, shining a spotlight on the beauty of Sacramento. The hills and scenic views shown throughout the movie reveal why Lady Bird writes so passionately about her hometown.

Lady Bird has already won many awards such as the Golden Globe and New York Film Critics Circle Awards for best picture and is nominated for several Oscars. Saoirse Ronan has also won the Golden Globe award for best actress because of her beautiful work in the movie, and Greta Gerwig won the National Society of Film Critics award for best director.

All in all, Lady Bird is the most standard yet most articulate and stunning film shown this year. It may be just another coming-of-age story, but it goes above and beyond to present a compelling story about a very impulsive teenager and all that life throws at her. Although the title of the movie is misleading as it has nothing to do with first lady Lady Bird Johnson, Lady Bird is a truly unique and exceptional movie that deserves to be seen.