Panorama | Special Presentations
Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saorise Ronan) is in her senior year at a Catholic high school in Sacramento, a city she sarcastically dubs "the Midwest of California." Running the full gamut of teenage emotions, she falls in and out of love; reaches an apex with her best friend (Beanie Feldstein), only to shift away afterwards; and battles over just about everything with her overworked mother (Laurie Metcalf), who is antagonized because of her frustrating frugality and her legitimate concern for Christine’s post-secondary future.
Writer-director Greta Gerwig, best known for her roles in Noah Baumbach films like Frances Ha and Mistress America, displays piercing insight and a skill for nuance. Her manic-depressive comedy portrays all the angst, elation and awkwardness that come with growing up broke and misunderstood in a stuffy small city. (Sacramento is, in fact, Gerwig’s hometown.) The film is nostalgic for the idiosyncrasies of a particular time and place, and it demonstrates how difficult and invigorating it can be to have your entire—and entirely uncertain—life ahead of you.
"Lady Bird is flat-out wonderful, as well as one of the best coming-of-age films since Amy Heckerling’s 1982 classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High… Generous, lived-in and pleasurably real, it is a portrait of the artist-in-the-making from an artist who has already arrived."—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times