SATURDAY, 14 JULY – 7.30pm (preceded by our AGM at 7.15pm)
2017 | US | Comedy-Drama | Directed by Greta Gerwig. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Lois Smith, Beanie Feldstein. 94 min. Rated 15.
Greta Gerwig, darling of indie cinema, makes her directorial debut with Lady Bird, a semi-autobiographical tale of a high-school senior who can’t wait to escape from stifling, boring, Sacramento, California. It’s also a story about the inner lives of girls and women, of daughters and mothers.
The wonderful Saoirse Ronan, luminous as Irish immigrant Eilis in Brooklyn, is pitch-perfect as Christine MacPherson, who has rechristened herself as ‘Lady Bird,’ much to her hard-working mother’s annoyance. Lady Bird longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Catholic high school. Irritated by her parents, who are struggling to remain in the middle class – her father has been laid off, her mother works double shifts as a psychiatric nurse – Lady Bird is also busy with coming-of-age milestones in her senior year, including a first romance, a part in the school play, the betrayal of her most loyal friend for more popular rich friends, and more importantly, applying for college – preferably far away from Sacramento.
But the film’s emotional centre is between daughter and mother, and the scenes between Ronan and the brilliant Laurie Metcalf, who plays her mother, Marion, are priceless in their reflection of reality. Marion nags her daughter endlessly, but also expresses her own dreams of a better existence. The film has genuine sympathy for Marion without sacrificing its support for Lady Bird.
As an aside, Gerwig was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for this film – shamefully, only the fifth woman to be nominated in the Oscars’ 90-year history.
“A gloriously funny and wistfully autobiographical coming-of-age comedy.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian ★★★★★
“Anchored by an expressive mother-daughter story in which unconditional love and enmity often seem one and the same, and elevated by an entrancing Saoirse Ronan (easily among the best and most intimate actors of her generation), Gerwig’s accomplished second directorial effort makes you wish she’d spend more time behind the camera.” – Tomris Laffly, TimeOut London ★★★★★
“Scripted by Gerwig with a deft balance of laudable wit and authentic angst, the film brilliantly depicts the adolescent tendency to rail against everything and anything, and it’s remarkable how heartfelt each and every moment feels, without the film once descending into sentimentality. Both that and Gerwig’s refusal to tie things up in a neat movie bow are a satisfying nod to its true-life origins. This is a loveable, colourful and largely convention-defying portrait of an endearing eccentric who, despite her protestations, holds her hometown dearer than she realises.” – Radio Times