Lady Bird Soars to New Heights

Tobias Hope-Young


High school is that one elusive time period in many of our lives.

It is a time of change of identity and discovery as high schoolers move out into the real world.

For these reasons it is difficult to accurately portray the odyssey that many take. Of all of the films and TV shows I’ve seen about this journey, “Lady Bird” stands out from the others by being the most accurate and the most heartfelt.

With a stellar cast, the hilarious, awkward and painful movie “Lady Bird” shines thanks to the dual performance from Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. This film is an entertaining, funny and emotionally impactful film about life in high school from the perspective of teenagers. The story itself is essentially a year in the life of the titular character, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, as she applies to college.

Lady Bird takes no small measure of pride in choosing her own name, rejecting the one her parents chose for her.

Teenagers make jokes and interact with one another while being overly serious and precocious as they tackle issues of identity and family dynamics as well as popularity and who they will take to prom.

The film centers around Lady Bird’s adventures in a suburban catholic school and the cast of characters that she runs into. It pays particular attention to her relationship with her best friend Julianne Steffans, played by Beanie Feldstein, and her tumultuous yet heartfelt relationship with her mother, Marion McPherson, played perfectly by Metcalf.

The mother-daughter relationship is central to this movie. It takes pains to show life from both the mother’s and the daughter’s perspectives while emphasizing the conflict and the love between them.

The one complaint I have for this film is while it adeptly portrays the lives of the two female leads, it neglects the lives of others and their story lines. For example, the audience is introduced to Lady Bird’s adopted brother, yet by the end of the film I cannot say that I knew him as a character. The narrative is riddled with such characters who show up with an issue or develop a problem only to have it go unresolved or disappear by the film’s end.

The film is an emotional and entertaining portrayal of a young woman’s life and her journey through the last year of high school and into college life. However, if you find that you may be on a similar journey and susceptible to homesickness, I would not recommend it.