I’m a bit late to the party, but here it is: "Lady Bird" was so good! By the time people read this, we'll know whether it won any Oscars, but for now I'm hoping!
Here are some of my favorite things about it.
- Complicated but loving relationship between Lady Bird and her mom: When they go from crying at “Grapes of Wrath” to fighting, and when they go from fighting to exclaiming over a nice dress, it’s done in an instant. In addition to the comedic effect, this is an incredibly accurate portrayal of the relationship many teenagers have with their parents. At the end, when Lady Bird finds her mom’s letters in her suitcase, I teared up.
- Beautiful friendship with Julie: Possibly my favorite part of the movie was the wonderful friendship Lady Bird has with Julie. They tell each other everything, and are there for each other through math class, musicals, breakups, and existential crises. Although they lose touch for a bit, it’s clear they’re better as a team.
- Lady Bird’s bravery: Many things Lady Bird says or does are things I wish I had been brave enough to do in high school. At her audition for the musical, she is full of confidence and takes up the whole stage. She speaks up against the presenter at a pro-life assembly (I don’t wish I had done that, but I agree with her sentiment). She also makes election posters with a bird’s head on her body or her face on a bird’s body, which I found hilarious.
- Nuanced portrayal of a Catholic school: Often, Catholic schools are portrayed as dark, strict, unforgiving places. Which is not without reason. However, as someone who has actually gone to a Catholic school, I know there were wonderful people there. I love the Nun who Lady Bird talks to— she doesn’t get mad when students put “Just Married to Jesus” on her car, she laughs about it. And in a moment of amazing wisdom, she tells Lady Bird, “Don’t you think maybe they are the same thing? Love, and [paying] attention?”
- Honesty about mental health: Lady Bird’s mom works at a Psych unit at a hospital, and a priest from the school goes there to seek help for depression. Lady Bird also finds antidepressant medication that her dad takes, which she hadn’t known about previously. It’s not a large part of the movie, but to me it was important.
- Beautiful cinematography: The shots of Sacramento, and the music, were the finishing touches to make this movie the amazing piece of art it is. Especially at the end, when Lady Bird is remembering driving in San Francisco, just the pictures of the palm trees, streets, stores, and houses she’s remembering fondly made me tear up a bit.
- The college scenes hit hard: As someone who recently started college, I remember and I empathized with the lonely, cast-adrift sort of feeling Lady Bird—at that point going by Christine—experiences. When she goes into the church and people are singing, it’s such a beautiful and emotional experience.