Movie review: Lady Bird
Lady Bird has received a lot of hype this awards season. It is up for five Oscars come March 5, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.
What writer-director Greta Gerwig won't win for is her screenplay. The story is neither original nor mind-blowing.
We have seen such stories countless times: a coming-of-age tale where teens struggle with friendships, romantic pursuits, their desire for independence and the stark difference between their dreams and reality.
But what makes Gerwig's directorial debut stand out is Saoirse Ronan.
In my book, Ronan is the best actress of her generation. The three-time Oscar nominee has not failed to impress since her breakout role in 2007's Atonement. She was only 13 then.
Now 23, Ronan is impressive as ever, again showcasing her versatility by playing an angsty 17-year-old. She insisted that her acne marks not be covered by make-up so as to better portray a teenager.
But her performance is more than skin deep. She offers many facets to her Lady Bird character as she navigates the crossroads of adulthood.
The heart of the film is the tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter.
Laurie Metcalf is excellent as the overworked Marion, who wants her daughter to be the best possible version of herself, something that drives them apart.
There is little wonder why Lady Bird wants to leave the nest and fly as far away as possible, given Marion's propensity to disapprove of her choices, even when it comes to choosing a prom dress. Yet the many confrontations between the equally headstrong mother and daughter only show the deep love they have for each other.
The chances for Ronan to win the Best Actress honour at the Oscars is low, but it won't take long for her shelves to be filled with the coveted trophies.
This Irish actress has the ability to turn a simple, straightforward story into something tender, heartwarming and affecting.
MOVIE: Lady Bird
STARRING: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein, Timothée Chalamet
DIRECTOR: Greta Gerwig
THE SKINNY: Set in 2002, this dramedy explores 17-year-old Christine “Lady Bird”
McPherson (Ronan) and her volatile relationship with her mother Marion (Metcalf) as Lady Bird struggles with her identity and her quest for independence.