Coming-of-age movies are as American as apple pie. Stand By Me, The Breakfast Club, Almost Famous, My Girl – they’re all portraits of what it meant to be a kid in America at a certain point in time.
Now, we have another film to add to the list in Lady Bird, which was written and directed by actress Greta Gerwig.
The film stars Saorise Ronan as Lady Bird, a Catholic school student in Sacramento circa 2002.
We watch as Lady Bird lives through her final year of high school and stresses over college acceptance letters, boys, her family’s money problems, and the constant anxiety of living in post-9/11 America.
But at the heart of Lady Bird is the mother-daughter relationship between Ronan’s lady bird and her mother Marion, played by Laurie Metcalf. We watch them argue and disagree and generally struggle to let the other one know how much they care.
This film comes after the success of Gerwig’s Frances Ha and Ronan’s star turn in the 2015 film Brooklyn.
In the interest of not spoiling all the fun, I won’t say any more, but this is a movie that should have a strong presence in this year’s awards season.
With so many great coming-of-age movies already in our cultural memory, it may seem difficult for a movie to ascend into the ranks with the greats, but Lady Bird earns its spot on the list.
Lady Bird is in theaters now.
I’m Evan Rook.