Bonnie's Film Website

Lady Bird

Lady Bird

Lady Bird (2017); Rated R
In Sacramento, Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson is in her final year of high school. She longs to leave her home and go to college on the East Coast. However, her protective, obsessive mother, pessimistic at her chances, is determined to keep her in California. Lady Bird's final year of school will be one of discovery, new experiences, and finding herself.


Story type:
Coming of Age

Personal Response:

  1. I believe there are many different messages Lady Bird is trying to say. One of them is about expressing yourself, no matter what. Even though this may not always be the best message, I think that Lady Bird is probably the best cinematic character who always strives to get and do what she wants. And although it seems as if Lady Bird is trying to become a new person through expressing herself - her dyed hair, her new name, claiming she lives in a different house - I think that it is just a way of her trying to become “the best version” of herself. I think another important message of the film is the relationship between a family, especially mother and daughter. Lady Bird’s interactions with her mom, dad, and brother are all different and complex. She argues a lot with her mom and brother, but she relies on her dad for comfort and support. However, I think all of them help Lady Bird become a better person, just in different ways.
  2. The coming-of-age story has three main attributes: growth through loss of innocence and gaining of knowledge, a mentor helping with this growth, and the rites of passage involved with moving into adulthood. I think Lady Bird fulfills all of these attributes, but in a different kind of way than in most stories. I definitely think that this whole film portrays Lady Bird’s growth, mainly seen in the ending of the movie when she goes to New York. The person who helps with this growth is her mother, although she does not see it at first. Even though Lady Bird mainly fights with her mom about what her mom thinks she should do, Marion does help Lady Bird grow as a person through their fights and makeups. I think the rites of passage for Lady Bird are just the same as any other teenager, going through friend drama, boyfriend drama, breakups, letdowns, and successes. Although Lady Bird’s coming-of-age story may not directly fit the criteria, it definitely is successful telling the story of growing up.
  3. The filmmaking component that stood out to me the most was the cinematic aspect. I think the cuts between scenes played a key role in telling the story. Many of the cuts were very fast-paced, showing how Lady Bird’s life kept moving. Even the end of the movie does not fade to black, it cuts to a black screen. This shows how life keeps going on for Lady Bird and that her story does not just end when the movie does. Another aspect is the coloring of the movie. As discussed in class, whenever Lady Bird is being herself, the coloring is red. Whenever she is around Kyle or Jenna or whenever she is not being herself, the coloring is blue. This is seen when Lady Bird is swimming in the pool with Jenna or when Kyle and Lady Bird are together in bed. However, Lady Bird’s true self is fiery and red. Her hair is even dyed a pinkish red color. After she makes up with Julie and they go to prom together, she is wearing a red dress. I think both the cuts between shots and the coloring make this film very well-crafted.
  4. I think this film ends very effectively. The last 10 minutes of this movie are very crucial in seeing Lady Bird’s development as a character. She is seen moving to a new city by herself, growing older (by introducing herself as Christine), reconnecting with her roots, and making up with her mom. Although Lady Bird moves away, she definitely begins to miss home, as seen through her going to church and reminiscing about her first time driving in Sacramento. When she calls her mom, she talks about driving in Sacramento. It may not directly seem to be a way of reaching to her mom, but I think it is. I think she is comforting and relating to her mom by expressing that she does miss her home, where she once so desperately wanted to leave. She not only misses Sacramento, but she also misses her family. She ends the call telling her she loves her and hangs up. She is then moving on to a new stage in her life. One where she does not find everything detestable, but where she finds good in new and old things.
  5. The scene that struck me the most in this movie is when Marion picks up Lady Bird at Kyle’s house after Lady Bird and Kyle have sex. The last time Marion and Lady Bird were on screen together they were mad at each other because Lady Bird had been suspended. Marion was yelling at Lady Bird, and Lady Bird responded that in the future after she pays her mother back she never wants to speak to them again. I thought this was a very harsh conversation between the two. However, when Marion picks up Lady Bird, she notices how upset she is. The two then go to do an activity that they love doing together. I think this shows the complexity of their mother-daughter relationship. It seems that this routine has been done many times before and that even when the two are fighting, they still reach out to each other at pivotal times. This can even be seen at the end of the movie when Marion runs into the airport to try to say goodbye to Lady Bird after Marion had not been speaking to Lady Bird for a while.
  6. I personally thought this movie was spectacular. I saw Lady Bird when it came out in theaters, and although I liked it, I could not identify with Lady Bird’s character. I got so distracted by how much I didn’t like her that I did not notice all the other great aspects of the film. I do still think that Lady Bird has a brash personality, but I think that she is just fully expressing the angst and rebellion that a lot of teenagers have. After seeing the movie again and analyzing it, I now recognize all the important aspects in it. I do think that every little detail in the film was meticulously planned out, from the clothing to the lighting to the background setting. The acting is fantastic, especially Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and all the aspects it took to make it a reality. I also realized that if a critically acclaimed movie does not speak to you the first time you see it, you should try to see it again and analyze it more.