“Lady Bird”is a refreshing, bittersweet story of youth

Photo courtesy IMBD

Danielle Meadows

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut “Lady Bird” released a month and a half ago.After passing “Toy Story 2” on Rotten Tomatoes for top reviewed film, grossing $26 million and raking in four Golden Globe nominations,“Lady Bird”continues to soar.

Christine“Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a senior at a Sacramento Catholic high school.She gave herself the name Lady Bird and refuses to be called Christine, likely as a form of rebellion against her parents.It’s 2002, “Cry Me a River” and “Crash into Me” are on the radio and social media is unheard of. From the fashion to the atmosphere of America one year after 9/11, Gerwig delicately brings the audience back.

From the beginning, Lady Bird longs to leave the nest. Her incessant hate for her hometown of Sacramento is painfully funny, referring to the city as “the Midwest of California.” She dreams of attending school on the other side of the country, in a city where culture thrives.

Lady Bird’s mother (Laurie Metcalf) thinks the local community college is a better fit. Often working double shifts at a psychiatric hospital to make ends meet, her mother is incredibly hardworking with a big heart.Sometimes she comes off to her daughter as cold, creating insecurities and straining their relationship. The complex bond between mother and teenage daughter is at the forefront of this film, with all the beautiful, painful nuances that accompany it.

While Lady Bird attends a strict Catholic school, she’s quirky, stubborn and free spirited.From skipping class to eating the communion bread and throwing away a teacher’s grade book, Lady Bird is far from a saint. She has good intentions throughout the film, although her naivety sometimes interferes.

The acting in “Lady Bird” is honest and powerful. Each interaction between characters feels organic, tinged with raw, realistic emotion.Friendships and relationships ebb and flow throughout the film, with Ronan’s performance perfectly showing off how tumultuous adolescence can be.

“Lady Bird” has the essential amount of shock, drama and comedy to be the perfect coming-of-age film. Through awkward first-time experiences and important realizations, Lady Bird slowly becomes who she was always meant to be. Her transformation is a stunning, entertaining journey from beginning to end.