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DCA Archive

Soft Subtitled Screening: Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig, probably best known as an actress despite the several screenwriting credits to her name (Mistress America, Frances Ha) steps behind the camera for her first solo directorial effort, Lady Bird. A classic coming-of-age story, this film is sweet, sassy, clever and extremely funny. In short, this is exactly the kind of film you’d expect Gerwig to make.

"…sweet, sassy, clever and extremely funny."

Seventeen-year-old Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is itching to break free from what she sees as her humdrum, safe small town life in Sacramento. Desperate to go to an exotic east coast college where she can spread her wings and fulfill her destiny (although she’s not really sure what that might be yet), she is in constant conflict with her hard working but fed up mother Marian (Laurie Metcalf). Lady Bird, the name Christine has (in all seriousness) given to herself, anxiously waits to hear the results of her college applications, while going through the trials of adolescence – making and losing friends, falling in and out of love – in essence, slowly finding out who she is going to be. When the day comes that she finally does leave home, Christine and her friends and family are surprised to find they all have mixed emotions.

One of the joys of this perfectly observed film is how fully fleshed out the characters are. They aren’t perfect: each has their flaws and foibles, but this is what makes them endearing and frankly, great company to be with. The cast are all allowed to shine, from the pitch-perfect Ronan and Metcalf right down to the smaller roles played by playwright Tracy Letts, Call Me By Your Name’s Timothée Chalamet and Manchester by the Sea’s Lucas Hedges.