Lady Bird is a modern coming-of-age story which follows Christine, or Lady Bird as she prefers to be called, through her final months in a Catholic high school in Sacramento, California. As she prepares for college and the next phase of her life, Lady Bird is conflicted by feelings of loyalty towards her family, old friends and her hometown, and yearning for something more. In this period of transition, she clashes with family, experiments in her relationships, and discovers hidden truths about the people she loves.
Saoirse Ronan gives a subtle yet breathtaking performance as the troubled teen. Lady Bird is at times energetic, joyful, and funny; at others, moody and depressed. Ronan expertly flits between these emotions like the ladybird of the title to give a highly believable and deeply moving performance. Meanwhile, Laurie Metcalf powerfully portrays the complex character of a mother who is often overbearing and critical in her attempts to nurture her children and offer them the best possible future.
On one level, this film is a character portrait of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, reaching out towards her future while unable to completely let go of her childhood, but it also explores deeper themes of family bonds, our wants and desires, and what it truly means to love someone. If you have ever been a parent or child who feels torn between past and future, protecting and letting go, familiarity and freedom, this film will speak to you. Be prepared to laugh and cry in equal measures.