Lady Bird

Lady Bird ★★★★½


Second viewing. No change from before.

Copy/paste from my first viewing, which I still agree with (even if there's more I could add now) -

Lady Bird is an excellent coming of age story. It's full of love, realistic, yet vibrant characters, and attention to detail that makes every scene colorful. Greta Gerwig's film goes by at a rapid pace. The editing is stylish; scenes jump from a moment's climax to the middle of the fallout in the next, giving the audience more than enough to understand the weight of the situation while not bogging down the movie with rehashed platitudes present in the genre.

The dialogue is witty and funny without being too cheesy, realistic without edging on dull. These are characters that feel familiar, but never become caricatures. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Matcalf are simply outstanding in their roles as daughter and mother. While the writing is top-notch, the performances are equally astute.

Lady Bird doesn't hit on a singular theme, or build up to a specific moment, but it's like a collection of vignettes in the life of our main character. Many situations are ones we've come to expect in a film like this: the first boyfriend/love, applying to and getting accepted into college, losing one's virginity, senior prom. None of these singular moments gets as much plot time in Lady Bird as they might in other high school films, but we feel the weight of how they affect the main character all the same.

Much of the film's beauty is presented without the need to be explained or put into words. Discovering the love of a place, of family, of experiences, are human themes that, when done well, will never get old. A small montage of mother and daughter enjoying a day visiting various open houses packs an emotional punch that can only be felt in the context of their relationship and situation. Marion (Metcalf) breaking down in the car after dropping Christine (Ronan) off at the airport is so simple, yet one of the most powerful performances of the year. It happens organically, and is deserved because of how much tenderness and care is put into the character development up until that point.

Lady Bird tells an honest story about different forms of love. It's one of the better movies of 2017.

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