Out Now On-Demand
Time to fly.
Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts star in this Northern California coming-of-age drama written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Winner of Best Picture & Actress at the 2018 Golden Globes. Nominated for Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Leading & Supporting Actress for Ronan & Metcalf.
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) & Actress for a Musical or Comedy (Ronan), Golden Globes 2018
- Greta Gerwig('Nights and Weekends')
Comedy, Festival & Independent
Rating: R13 Drug use, sex scenes & offensive language
Like most girls raised in faith, or otherwise in a town where the coolest spot to hang out is a parking lot, seventeen-year-old Christine (Saoirse Ronan) — who only answers to her self-christened nickname Lady Bird — steers moments in an effort towards evidence. She pictures herself as a girl in a movie and she knows when to cut.
A story about letting go as much as coming of age, Lady Bird, directed by Frances Ha’s Greta Gerwig, exquisitely renders the complex, funny, turbulent love between mother and daughter, which is to say, the way desire can feel like betrayal. The cinematic shorthands Lady Bird covets — a spiral staircase, a kitchen island, a TV room, New York — all speak to a compensation for class that is somehow thrilling to see reflected.
The close attention Gerwig pays to her actors is tangible, and makes it easy to forget this is her solo feature directorial debut. She brings with her a decade of acting, writing, and producing experience, as well as an astute aesthetic sensibility discernable in her consideration of cadence, gesture, costume, and light. The film is a distinct portrait of 2002 soundtracked by Dave Matthews Band, Stephen Sondheim musical numbers, and Iraq war coverage. Thankfully, it never reads as if Gerwig is trying to convince us of anything.
Each character is lived in and every casting choice feels entirely inevitable. Ronan is seamless as a teenage girl who so desperately wants something more than small-town California, ably matched by a compelling Laurie Metcalf, her mother whose love too often finds itself mistranslated. Tracy Letts is a delight as Lady Bird’s father, and newcomer Beanie Feldstein is magic as her best friend, Julie. Call Me By Your Name’s Timothée Chalamet plays Lady Bird’s anarchist-adjacent band boyfriend with total charm.
In one scene, a schoolteacher notes how lovingly Lady Bird writes about Sacramento. Lady Bird is slow to concede, insisting she simply describes the city, pays attention. “Don’t you think maybe they’re the same thing?” her teacher posits: “Love and attention?” If so, it’s Greta Gerwig’s love that carries Lady Bird home.
Rolling Stone (USA)
Narrative Muse (New Zealand)
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
NewsHub.co.nz (Kate Rodger)
It's an honest perspective of one coming-of-age, however lacking distinction at times.
A must see
Want to kill time? This will bring you back to earth. Real, really funny, real good.
It doesn't reinvent the coming of age genre, but Lady Bird is an enjoyable, heartfelt, feel-good movie, and an impressive solo directorial debut from Greta Gerwig. Sharp script, great performances all around. This is the best acting I've seen from Saoirse Ronan. The story moves quickly at a short but sweet 94 minutes. Recommended.
Hype is real
Greta Gerwig's debut directorial work sees Saoirse Ronan take centre stage in a coming-of-age-style movie which falls far from that said movie trope. A balanced blend of humour and meaningful episodes of drama propel Lady Bird to the heights cinema going pleasure.
saoirse roman is luminous as lady bird in another from that enduring genre, the american dysfunctional family movie.
plenty of people already love this film but for me the cliched 'coming of age' moments came too thick and fast .
i am sure there will be rewards from the academy in a year where a woman director is a much needed token and this is a good solid piece of film making that will be loved by many young women who will surely see much of themselves reflected. still, i found myself unmoved and at times bored in this set piece. clearly, though, we are witnessing the progression of two great careers in gerwig and ronan.
Lady Bird is everything a well rounded teenager should be
Ahh, high school. First loves, peer pressure and that unrelenting urge to get as far away from everyone as possible. Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson takes us back there and then some with Greta Gerwig's dazzling solo directorial debut. Set in the backdrop of 2002 Sacramento, California and a Catholic all-girls high school, it offers a nostalgic tinge on the classic coming of age, teenage angst trope.
Our eponymous leading lady is everything a well-rounded teenager should be; angry, attention seeking, demanding, loving, curious and wise. She tackles life with a full steam approach, willing to lie and scheme her way into fulfilling her her dream of attending an East Coast liberal arts university. On the way, she dips her toes in love, questions her friendships and continually tests the troubling and tiresome relationship with her mother. But don't be fooled by the doodling hearts and smitten looks across the dancefloor, Lady Bird is not a love story. Really at the heart of this story is a mother and daughter, simulatenously learning to grow and let go.
As poignant as it is funny, Lady Bird also offers a refreshingly honest look at often invisible middle-class economics and the added struggles it brings to teenagehood and parents. In the end Lady Bird shows a part of all one of us yet none of us - equal parts relatable yet all a class of her own. Lady Bird's struggle to escape the suffocation of an overbearing family and uninspiring town is nothing new in the movie world, yet we can't help but feel victorious when she succeeds.
Gerwig deserves all the accolades that she'll receive for this film. It is one that you'll finish watching and want to start all over again.