The highly acclaimed comedy-drama film Lady Bird will be showing at Price Center Theater on February 28. Lady Bird has broken the record for becoming the best reviewed film of all time on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes and is currently nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.
Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, the film focuses on the strong-willed and outspoken high school student Catherine McPherson. She is bored of her mundane life and cannot wait to go to college on the East Coast, despite her family’s continued financial struggles. Catherine has a particularly difficult relationship with her mother and constantly rebels against her; one such way is insisting that she be referred to as “Lady Bird”. Lady Bird follows Catherine through her senior year of high school, depicting the struggles of handling romance, friendships, and family.
Following the growing trend of a lack of defined narrative structure in films, Lady Bird feels like a glimpse into Lady Bird’s life. There is no large overarching plot and at times the film evokes the feeling of watching a documentary, similar to the film Boyhood. However, this does not make the film any less engaging, as Lady Bird’s life and story is incredibly relatable. Whether it be her trouble in romantic relationships, struggle to fit in at school, or fighting with her mother, most viewers should be able to find at least one scene that speaks to them. This creates an amazing coming-of-age story that is both amusing and thoughtful.
Lady Bird’s success may largely be attributed to its amazing cast. Lucas Hedges, made famous by the film Manchester by the Sea, and Timothée Chalamet, nominated for Best Actor in Call Me by Your Name this year, play two very differing boyfriends of Lady Bird’s and do a fantastic job at drawing out different aspects of Lady Bird’s personality. The real stars of the film, however, are Saoirse Ronan, the protagonist Lady Bird, and Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird’s mother Marion. Metcalf embodies the struggles of being a parent and her pain and frustration of having a stubborn daughter, while also trying to provide the best for her family. Ronan, on the other hand, transforms into a typical American teenager. The juxtaposition of Lady Bird’s outward self-confidence and the vulnerability she hides within shows off a wide depth of Ronan’s skill as an actress.
Lady Bird is a fantastic film, one that deftly captures the journey of becoming an adult and finding one’s self. It is both reflective and humorous, pensive and warm, contemplative and joyful. Lady Bird is a great place to start to prepare for the Academy Awards later next month and a film that should not be missed out on.
Lady Bird is showing on Feb. 28 at Price Center Theater. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the film starts at 8:00 p.m. This screening is free for UC San Diego undergraduate students with a valid student ID.
Arun Dhingra is a contributing writer for the Arts and Culture section for The Triton.