It’s hard to understand what makes a genuinely good coming of age film. These films have many aspects to them; they usually consist of a plethora of different types of characters, including some trope-based characters whereas some are unique. The other aspect that makes coming of age films unique is that the protagonists are usually on the younger side, and they have less experience with both love, heartbreak, maturity, careers, and moving forward with their life.
Lady Bird is no exception to these rules; in fact, it takes everything a step further. Lady Bird features some of the most original characters and stories in any coming of age film, and it’s a film that defines Greta Gerwig’s filmmaking brain beyond any of her other works.
How to Stream or Download Lady Bird (2017)
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The Movie Review
The film follows Christine McPherson, also known as Lady Bird. She’s in her senior year of high school and goes through a ton of experiences that shape the way her mind works once she leaves for college. She goes through many relationship problems, with Timothee Chalamet and Lucas Hedges’ characters; one of them was just looking for a good time while the other one doesn’t find her sexually attractive because he wasn’t heterosexual.
Directed by Greta Gerwig, the film has a strong focus on independence and figuring out what you want. Her directorial merits landed her as a nominee for the best director, which made her the first woman in eight years to get nominated for that position. Starring Saoirse Ronan (check her out also in Little Women from 2019) as Lady Bird, she brings a humble honesty to the character and plays her part beautifully.
Laurie Metcalf’s portrayal of Mary McPherson, Lady Bird’s mother is a deeply touching one. At times, her portrayal was so realistic that I could relate to them both despite the film consistently showing only Lady Bird’s perspective. Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, and Beanie Feldstein play the other young characters in the film, and they all play their parts with a lot of sincerity.
The other most important aspect of the plot is Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother, Mary McPherson. They have a bond just like any mother and daughter, albeit dialed up to two. Their conversations often lead to Mary sounding rude, unsupportive and generally unkind because she is always pushing Lady Bird to be the best version of herself through adversity. Whereas Lady Bird’s responses to her mother are out of uncontrollable emotion, she either rages, cries, gets mad that she doesn’t like her choice in clothes, or even jumps out of a moving car.
After leaving her hometown for New York, she finds trouble settling down and begins to realize how it feels once you pass your adolescence. The story has a sublime grasp on the protagonist’s overall characterization, and Saoirse Ronan plays the character of Lady Bird with utmost commitment.
The cinematography is handled by longtime collaborator of Greta’s husband Noah Baumbach, Sam Levy. While the film doesn’t have the most unconventional cinematography in the world, nor does it have the most unique set designs ever. It looks gorgeous, with soft supple lighting techniques and pretty framing for each and every shot. The film felt like a sculpture designed truly by an artist.
Lady Bird’s unconventional take on coming of age films, by showing the perspective of not just the young protagonist but also her mother and her relationship with said mother is why it retains the highest level of honesty. The film doesn’t hold any punches in showcasing how relationships can often lead to us becoming both content and confused at the same time. Putting us in the shoes of a young girl and making us feel like her completely throughout the film, and if not that then at least immersing us in her perspective. Lady Bird is a film that breaks barriers in contemporary filmmaking.