By Maddie Gee
“Lady Bird” is a love story to “home,” teendom and love, not just on a romantic level — but on a personal and familial level as well. At first glance, “Lady Bird” seems like the typical coming-of-age film, reminiscent of classics like “The Breakfast Club” or “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” However, the film is something completely unique.
This week, the film also was nominated for five Oscars: Best Picture, Original Screenplay and Directing. If director Greta Gerwig wins, she would be the second woman ever to win in this category. She’s only the fifth to ever be nominated for the coveted directing award.
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Lead Role, and the actress Laurie Metcalf received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Lead Role.
The film ended up winning big at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, taking home the award for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy).
Ronan also took home the Best Actress in a Comedy award for her role.
Christine, who prefers to be called Lady Bird, is an extremely independent woman who is trying to leave the city that she “hates”– Sacramento — in search of herself and where she truly belongs. Lady Bird is focused on getting into an East Coast school to run away from everything she has ever known, but her family has other plans.
While this film is not the typical teen comedy/drama, there is still a focus on the wins and losses of the teenage years. The toxicity of relationships was exemplified when Lady Bird tried to become popular. Lady Bird acts out in order to gain respect from the popular crowd to feel included and certain in herself. She ends up becoming even more lost than before and realizes that there is nothing special about being popular. The popular kids all struggle and feel pain. This theme is seen in numerous iconic teen films, like “Mean Girls” or even “High School Musical.” Even though the film is much deeper than just a “teen flick,” it still portrays some of the typical themes of films in the genre.
The characters in the film have a love for Sacramento that is both obvious and hidden. The first time I watched this film, I noticed there were many shots all around the city, including scenes of the bridges, lakes and sunsets. Lady Bird loves Sacramento, but has such large negative feelings towards her mother (played by Laurie Metcalf) and who she is that she does not see how much the city moves her until it is too late. She tries to find her version of home in other places and objects — cigarettes, moving to the East Coast, and even trying to find this sense of comfort in people who were only using her because she was in the way. However, one of the main messages of the film is that “there is no place like home.” Lady Bird shares the same love for the city as the director — but she does not want to admit it. For Lady Bird, home was Sacramento whether she liked it or not.
Love is the motivation for the whole film. Love for a future without pain or sadness is what drove her to putting herself out there for the wrong people and pushing away those she loved. Finally, love is what kept the roller coaster of a relationship between herself and her mother alive. Even throughout the film when they are constantly at each other’s throats, they still come to each other’s defense. Despite their extremely opposing viewpoints on life, they want the best for each other.
I loved many aspects of the film. Firstly, the realistic mother/daughter relationship I was able to relate to and because of this was more emotionally involved in the movie. I loved the nature shots included in the movie. My favorite part of the movie, however, was Lady Bird’s character development — how despite how desperately she wanted to change, she realized in the end that where and how she grew up made her life beautiful. Personally, I feel like that is a fantastic message for other teenagers to see in the envious and social media-based world we live in today.
The stellar film “Lady Bird” is a perfect example of an imperfect teenager navigating through the complexities of life while trying to sort out the complexities in herself.