Greta Gerwig has earned a good reputation as an actor and now, with “Lady Bird,” she shows that she also has considerable talent as a writer-director.
Gerwig chronicles the restlessness of a high school girl In Sacramento who wants to break loose from her mother’s grip, which includes plans for a close-to-home college education instead of letting her daughter fly away. ( Lady Bird is really named Christine, but she chooses to be known as Lady Bird to help make her seem special.)
The title role is played by the excellent Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”) and although she does a skillful job, I find her appearing too old for high school age. She looks more like a person already into the world beyond that and this bothers me on the credibility count.
I know there is a lot of buzz about the film, which apparently speaks to many who have had growing up problems of their own. But while on the one hand, Ronan gives Lady Bird plenty of spirit, her personality can be rather annoying as we watch her go through the paces of her assorted experiences and attitudes.
Lady Bird is bent on going to college in New York to see broader horizons. This idea is anathema to her mother, Marion, given a superb performance by Laurie Metcalf. The father is portrayed by Tracy Letts, convincing as usual.
There is much to enjoy in watching Lady Bird wrestle with life and in laughing at some of the humorous lines and situations, and Gerwig directs sharply. But I find the title character rather tiresome at times. You may feel otherwise. An A24 release. Reviewed October 30, 2017.