Lady Bird (inspired by Films to be buried with)

4 Mar

Lady Bird, more than any recent movie, felt very much like watching my own teenage years play out onscreen. There are details, of course, that I don’t have in common with main character Lady Bird (real name Christine), like her required school uniform, losing her virginity to Timothee Chalamet, and her best friendship with Beanie Feldstein. But more broadly, the contours of Lady Bird’s coming of age mirror my own. I also was a precocious, independent, headstrong, creative teenage girl, so some of the things that Christine does, like dye her hair pink and date inappropriate boys, ring very true for me. And there is a scene where she and her mother, played so well by Laurie Metcalf, have a prolonged interaction in a clothing store that starts with a fiery argument and ends in mindless chit chat. It feels very close to mall outings I have had with my own mother that can go from 0-60 in no time, then back to 0.

Lady Bird applies to colleges on the East Coast, even though her grades aren’t stellar, and even though she can’t really afford it, because she has big dreams for herself and aches to move away from her hometown, for which she only develops some affection after she leaves (like writer/director Greta Gerwig). I also attended a Catholic high school, and although we didn’t have to wear uniforms, I’m aware of the restrictions (and joys) of life on a small Catholic school campus. This was another aspect of the story that rang true for me.

Saoirse Ronan plays this role so well, and Greta Gerwig does such a lovely job bringing Sacramento to life on the big screen, a city that rarely gets a chance to shine on the big screen. “Lady Bird” very accurately portrays me as a teenager, just a few years later and a few miles north.

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