Lady Bird is a beautiful coming-of-age story intertwined with a love letter between mother and daughter while being told within the scope of a Dramedy. It is is everything you need it to be while giving you moments that you didn’t realize you were craving.
The film follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson on her Senior year of High School; it showcases the beautiful and complicated nature that teenagers exist in while providing a heartbreaking and very real narrative of a mother-daughter relationship. It dances beautifully within the line that connects a drama and a comedy; I have the tear-stained shirt and the laughter-lines on my face to prove it. The truth is I knew I would love the film as soon as I saw the first trailer and within thirty minutes of the movie,I found myself head over heals.
Soairse Ronan leads the film with a charismatic force that is hard to miss and Laurie Metcalf played with my heartstrings while playing Lady Bird’s mother. They beautifully play off of each other, with Soairse navigating the difficult emotions that come with not completely understanding your mother while wanting nothing more than to have a positive and reinforcing relationship with her. While Laurie took hold of a character that easily runs the risk of being unlikeable by leading her with her heart. Certain scenes in this film felt so real that I found myself traveling back in time to my teenage years and I think that’s where the beauty of this film truly comes in. With that being said, the magical force in Lady Bird is Beanie Feldstein.
It could be that I felt some sort of magic because Beanie’s character in the movie is named Julie (and if you haven’t figured it out yet, as the creator of juliexplores.com that would mean that my name is Julie) but there was something about Beanie that immediately made me take notice. As described in the script Julie is seventeen, chubby and gets the lead in her High School play. Though after seeing the movie I feel the need to add: finds her magic during her senior year, is the definition of a loyal friend, allows her talent to the lead the way and holds in her heart the best line of the movie (in my opinion).
I knew this film would stay with me the moment when Lady Bird goes to Julie’s apartment on her way to prom. It’s when she walks in and notices that Julie has been crying, Lady Bird asks Julie what is wrong and Julie replies, “Some people aren’t built happy, you know”. This is the exact moment where you could feel my heart shatter. Maybe it was the resignation in her voice when Beanie delivered the line or the way Saoirse envelopes her in a hug immediately but that moment refuses to let me go.
I spent the better part of this past weekend watching and reading Beanie Feldstein interviews, with my admiration for her growing with each new video and I think it’s safe to say that I am now properly obsessed. She is a talented force, wrapped in a confident woman who stumbles along this chaotic world humbly and kindly. Beanie is funny, determined, obsessed with musicals and basically the perfect best friend which in turn makes eternally jealous of Ben Platt.
As a whole, this film was a breath of fresh air and the entire cast worked together with Greta (and crew) to create a necessary trip through adolescence. Greta Gerwig has created a world in which a teenage girl can find herself and appreciate herself all within the hour and thirty-four minutes. She has captured the complicated emotions that come with adolescence while giving us a reason to laugh at our over-dramatic teenage selfs. A coming-of-age story that exists within this love letter between a mother and daughter; this film also feels like a declaration of love for every teenager that’s ever felt like they are bigger than the life they are living in.
Please get out there and support this film and if you ever come across Beanie Feldstein, please let her know that her future second best friend lives in Los Angeles.