Watch the video above for a quick review of Lady Bird
Before it even hits cinemas across most of the world, Lady Bird has usurped Toy Story 2 as the best-reviewed movie of all time on notoriously tough critic aggregate site, Rotten Tomatoes.
The directorial debut of indie darling Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird is a classic coming-of-age film starring two-time (probably soon to be three-time) Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan.
The film has had surprising success for a movie that’s devoid of superheroes, major stars or gripping action, choosing to instead focus on the everyday interactions of a family living in suburban California.
What Lady Bird lacks in edge-of-your-seat plot twists, it makes up for with heart, intelligence and humour.
As the titular character – a spunky schoolgirl named Christine who insists on being called by her chosen moniker, Lady Bird – Irish-born Ronan is delightfully all over the place in the way only a teenager can be.
A killer ensemble cast delivers the witty dialogue with aplomb, with standout performances from youngsters like Ronan, 23, Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges, 20, up-and-comer Timothee Chalamet, 21, and Beanie Feldstein, the 24-year-old little sister of funnyman Jonah Hill.
Gerwig and her husband, director Noah Baumbach, are often credited with the creation of ‘Mumblecore’ – a genre of films with low-budgets and naturalised acting and dialogue.
Gerwig usually stars in the movies she writes, like the critically acclaimed Frances Ha or Mistress America, but this time she took a step behind the camera – to great effect.
Her often awkward brand of dorkiness is evident throughout Lady Bird, which is a semi-autobiographical account of Gerwig’s own childhood and her fiery-yet-loving relationship with her mother.
As director, Gerwig controversially banned her young cast from using mobile phones, telling them it was “for their acting”, giving the performances an energy and focus.
Happily, phones are also not present in the movie itself thanks to its early-2000s setting, removing the kind of social media plot crutches many recent young adult films lean too heavily on.
Other sweetly offbeat devices employed by Gerwig included her writing personal letters to Alanis Morrisette, Justin Timberlake and Dave Matthews in order to get permission to use their songs in the film.
They all agreed.
While this quirkiness may sound contrived, what makes Gerwig’s scripts, storylines and characters so beloved is that they are anything but.
Importantly, Lady Bird tackles the often ignored topic of mother-daughter relationships, with the hilarious, tumultuous interplay between Christine and her mother (Laure Metcalf) as painfully realistic as it is entertaining.