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Film Review: Authentic Coming-of-Age in Expressive ‘Lady Bird’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – In one of the best American films of 2017, Greta Gerwig went behind the camera to write and direct an autobiographical overview of her Senior Year in high school, within a directionless town and family. The result is enlightening truth, told with laugh-out-loud directness and connective empathy. The film is a total winner.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

What sets “Lady Bird” apart – the title refers to a nickname the main character wants people to call her – is that it deals with both average and underlying problems with American life in this post millennial haze. The family of Lady Bird is emotionally struggling and is in paycheck-to-paycheck mode, which adds more stress. Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalfe, veterans of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, portray the parents with such gritty honesty that you could meet them at the grocery store right now. The actor who portrays the title character, Saoirse Ronan, masters the Greta Gerwig-style of detachment that makes the autobiography that much more precise. It’s really a wonderful film, that maintains its emotional surprises all the way to the conclusion.

Christine AKA Lady Bird (Ronan) has an itch that she doesn’t know how to scratch, but in the meantime she will endure her Senior Year at a Catholic high school in Sacramento (the “Midwest of California”). The relationship with her mother (Metcalfe) is strained, and her father (Letts) is going through an unemployment phase. She desires to get out of her sleepy town, but she hasn’t a clue as to how to accomplish that goal.

She finds solace in her best friend (Beanie Feldstein), who encourages her to be in the school play. She connects with a boy crush during that run, but it turns sour quickly. She indoctrinates herself with some cooler kids, but that also leads to a point – after some deception on her part – that ends badly. She also applies to colleges beyond the family’s means, if only to escape where she is. Her graduation will occur beyond the cap and gown.

”Lady Bird” is currently in theaters nationwide. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Saoirse Ronan, Tracy Letts, Laurie Metcalfe, Beanie Feldstein, Odeya Rush and Timothée Chalamet. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Lady Bird”

Saoirse Ronan is the Title Character in ‘Lady Bird’
Photo credit: A24

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Lady Bird”

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