Lady Bird is a 2017 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig in her solo directorial debut. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith. Set in Sacramento, California, between the fall of 2002 and the summer of 2003, it is a coming-of-age story of a high school senior and her strained relationship with her mother.
Marion McPherson, a nurse, works tirelessly to keep her family afloat after her husband loses his job. She also maintains a turbulent bond with a teenage daughter who is just like her: loving, strong-willed and deeply opinionated.
Why It Rocks
- It's an amazing coming of age story of a girl in Sacramento from fall 2002 to summer 2003.
- Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird is amazing and flawless.
- Greta Gerwig gives great direction for her first feature film, causing this film to become a huge masterpiece.
- A ton of hilarious moments, such as the opening scene where Lady Bird jumps out of the car when she has an argument with her mother.
- It also manages to bring hilarity and heartbreak together into one film.
- Lady Bird and Danny also have great chemistry with each other.
- None of the movie manages to be a let down at all, by adding jokes and emotion in the movie, it makes it very captivating.
- Lady Bird's mother has amazing character development, going from heavily annoyed to a sweet and kind mother.
- Even Lady Bird herself has great character development as she comes of age.
- The film is also an ode love letter to all the mothers in the world taking care of their daughter.
- The costumes describes what early-to-mid-2000s fashion looks like.
- The school uniforms reminds everyone of Catholic schools.
The Only Bad Quality
- It suffers from pacing issues, making it a bit underwhelming.
- According to writer/director Greta Gerwig, the first draft of her script for Lady Bird was 350 pages long, which would have made for a movie nearly six hours long.
- This film is Greta Gerwig’s solo feature directorial debut.
- Christine’s self-given nickname – “Lady Bird” – wasn’t inspired by Lady Bird Johnson. Rather, Gerwig told NPR’s Terry Gross that it was likely influenced by the words to a Mother Goose nursery rhyme: “Ladybird, ladybird/Fly away home/Your house is on fire/And your children all gone.”
- The first thing Greta Gerwig told her cinematographer was, “I want this film to look like a memory”
- For inspiration about attending an American high school, Saoirse Ronan drew from her memories of watching Saved by the Bell as a child.
- To prepare the cast and crew of the film, Greta Gerwig gave them her old high school yearbooks, photos and journals as well as passages written by Sacramento native Joan Didion. She also took them on a tour of her hometown.
- Greta Gerwig chose cinematographer Sam Levy based on previous experience working with him – as an actress – in Frances Ha, Maggie’s Plan and Mistress America.
- Cinematographer Sam Levy was visually inspired by Andrew Wyeth paintings that reflected California’s agriculture and topography.
- Greta Gerwig originally wanted to shoot the film on Super 16 film stock but – due to budget constraints – it was ultimately shot on digital with the Arri Alexa Mini.
- While directing the prom scenes, Greta Gerwig wore a prom dress herself. Gerwig describes the pink prom dress Lady Bird wears as “a little tip of the hat to Pretty in Pink.
- Greta Gerwig always wanted talented multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion (Magnolia, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) to compose the score for the film. Brion created a piano motif that repeats itself throughout the film and is later punctuated with melodious feedback, evocative of memory itself.
- The cast includes four Oscar nominees – Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet.
- Three cast members – Saoirse Ronan, Tracy Letts, and Timothée Chalamet – all appear in Greta Gerwig’s recent adaptation of Little Women.
- Greta Gerwig is one of only five women in history to receive an Academy award nomination for Best Director.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 99% based on 375 reviews, with an average rating of 8.75/10. The website's critical consensus reads "Lady Bird delivers fresh insights about the turmoil of adolescence and reveals debuting writer-director Greta Gerwig as a fully formed filmmaking talent." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 94 out of 100, based on reviews from 50 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."