Chronicling the exploits of a charmingly narcissistic 17-year-old, “Lady Bird” (her given name: “it was given to me, by me”) as she navigates the quagmire of adolescence in the early ’00s, oozing with affectation, expectation and pluck.
Lady Bird longs to leave her small Californian town and head east to the ‘culture’ of New York City for college but the financial realities for her family, in a post-9/11, pre-crash America make this yet another bone of contention between herself and her mother. Indeed, the mother-daughter relationship, portrayed so skilfully by Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan, is at the core of this very funny film.
In turns excruciating, hilarious and captivating in its dysfunction and complexity, there is also unqualified tenderness. The subject matter may be a well-trodden path in Hollywood but first-time director Greta Gerwig brings an astute originality and flair to Lady Bird that make it feel like it’s never been seen before.