Lady Bird - an almost perfect film left me a bit...m'eh
Christine "Lady Bird" MacPherson is a high school senior from the "wrong side of the tracks." She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. LADY BIRD follows the title character's senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college.
Lady Bird is written and directed by Greta Gerwig and stars our own Saoirse Ronan as Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson. "Lady Bird" is name she gave herself as a rebellious act against her mother, Marion played wonderfully by Laurie Metcalf. Lady Bird even remarks near the end film that 'some people won't believe in God but they'll just accept a name given to them by their parents'. Ronan's title character is one of the most rebellious and defiant lead characters of the year topped only by Frances McDormand's Mildred Hayes in 'Three Billboards'. It's very entertaining and at times poignant to watch her verbally spar with her mother over something as tedious as straightening a bed cover in a hotel room. This is testament to both the cast and Gerwig's script which keeps things feeling fresh and new in every scene.
Yes there is a "but" coming. Lady Bord left me feeling a bit "m'eh". THe film is executed with perfection. The acting is all first class. I just found it all a bit mechanical. Tab A goes into slot B and now you have a coming-of-age film. Yes there are laugh out loud moments. Yes you sympathise with all of the characters and their perspectives. For me, I felt most for Lady Bird's father, played by Tracy Letts. His performance is understated opposite Ronan and Metcalf and I found my sympathies lying with him.
The film sparkles and the script excellent when Ronan and Metcalf are sparring. Perhaps my problem is that I expect more from such star actors. They are satisfying performances but perfunctory. I didn't dislike the film, it just seemed less than the sum of its parts and I wanted more.