ENTERTAINMENT
16/02/2018 08:05 GMT | Updated 18/02/2018 09:54 GMT

‘Lady Bird’ Is A Fresh Coming-Of-Age Drama That Will Leave You Floating On Air - HuffPost Verdict

It hasn't landed all those award nominations for nothing.

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K E Y   P O I N T S

  • The comedy-drama follows a year in the life of Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) as she graduates from high school
  • With awards season in full swing, ‘Lady Bird’ has already bagged two Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Saoirse Ronan)
  • It’s up for five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), Best Original Screenplay and Best Director (Greta Gerwig)
  • Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is semi-autobiographical, although the filmmaker has clarified that “nothing in the movie literally happened in my life, but it has a core of truth that resonates with what I know”
  • The supporting cast includes ‘Call Me By Your Name’ star Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Lucas Hedges, Odeya Rush and Tracy Letts.

S N A P   V E R D I C T

On paper, you’d be forgiven for thinking Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical directorial debut is just another coming-of-age tale. But despite the familiar central themes of discovery, relationships and family, ‘Lady Bird’ feels completely fresh and original.

We follow Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) as she navigates a turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother Marion (played brilliantly by Laurie Metcalf), friendships, “unspecial sex”, and what her mother and school counsellor believe are unrealistic dreams of attending college in New York in a bid to escape Sacramento (“the midwest of California”).

The natural warm light that permeates the screen, framed so expertly by Gerwig, might not be enough to make Christine want to stay, but it adds a beautiful melancholic glow to the 2002 setting.

There are other, literal nostalgic nods to the era too -  Justin Timberlake pops up on the soundtrack at one point - but it’s never overdone or cloying.

As the titular character (a name she “gave to myself, it’s given to me by me”) Saoirse Ronan is a revelation. She delivers a mesmerising performance, equal parts vulnerable, headstrong, warm, funny, but always relatable and totally lovable. It’s a brilliantly nuanced performance, up there with co-star Timothée Chalamet’s turn in last year’s other stand-out low budget indie, ‘Call Me By Your Name’.

Unsurprisingly, the teenage Lady Bird is flawed and awkward as she attempts to get her head around her life and herself, but you’ll be rooting for her until the final credits roll - and beyond.

B E S T   L I N E S

Lady Bird’s response when her mother tells her to be the best version of herself: 

What if this is the best version?

Marion McPherson to Lady Bird:

You should just go to City College. You know, with your work ethic just go to City College and then to jail and then back to City College and then maybe you’d learn to pull yourself up and not expect everybody to do everything."

T A K E   H O M E   M E S S A G E

There’s a reason this became the best reviewed movie of all time, racking up a perfect score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Go see.

‘Lady Bird’ is in select cinemas now, and nationwide from Friday 23rd February.