“I hate California, I want to go to the east coast. I want to go where culture is like, New York, or Connecticut or New Hampshire.” – Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, Lady Bird
As a member of Teen Advisory Council, I relish any opportunity to drop in on other ArtsConnection programs. During the Fall semester, I got the chance to see Lady Bird with Wednesday’s Film TRaC group.
I regard Lady Bird as the coming-of-age film of our generation. Yes, it’s a specific film set in the specific time period of 2002, but its story feels just as true to the teenagers of 2018. As one of those teens of ‘18, I see myself in Lady Bird, née Christine McPherson, played by Saoirse Ronan.
Tracing the final year of her Senior year, Lady Bird encapsulates the tornado of emotions that accompany one’s transition to adulthood. The film’s central relationship and source of conflict, Lady Bird and her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf), is one reflective of my own relationship with my mother. The pendulum swings between bickering and bonding, feuding and feeling, not unlike many of the relationships we form with the adults in our lives.
Beyond the cultural touchstones of an American upbringing—Justin Timberlake, the aftermath of 9/11, Dave Matthews Band’s Crash Into Me, and economic uncertainty—Lady Bird challenges our notion of the coming-of-age film. Greta Gerwig’s inaugural debut into solo directing and writing this film shines through its imperfect perfection. Gerwig weaves a story that feels true to her upbringing in Sacramento and true to someone like me, a woman on the cusp of adulthood in NYC.
May 2018 be the year that Lady Bird flies.