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Lady Bird is not about the former first lady –nor is it about birds; it’s a coming of age film about a teen girl.

Firstly—I hate coming of age films—they all seem to share the same angst—parent hating, drunken debauchery and cries of ‘notice me, notice me.’   Although Lady Bird is not immune to the tropes mentioned above, it does manage to rise above cliché.

The lead character, Lady Bird, or Christine played by the magnificent Saoirse Ronan (2 time Oscar nominee) —is precocious, independent and confused.  She’s trying to find and define herself within the confines of her small world as well as figure out a way to escape it.

Set in Sacramento in the early 2000’s, director Greta Gerwig does an outstanding job of re-imagining the frustrations of moving into adulthood.   A girl’s Catholic High School, a best friend, a boyfriend, and mother problems—all contribute to this tight tale of teen life. 

Laurie Metcalf is outstanding as Lady Bird’s mother—a woman on the edge—trying to keep the finances together as well as the family, and attempting to mother as well as win over her strong-willed daughter.  Everyone will recognize shades of their own mom in Metcalf’s performance.

The Irish born Ronan is a treasure—she has that wonderful ability to combine confidence and vulnerability.  And the writing is strong.  34- year old Greta Gerwig wrote as well as directed this film– which is loosely based on her growing up years in Sacramento.

Lady Bird is a terrific small movie about home—loving it and leaving it —and it will flash you back— if even for a second— to what it was like to stand on the precipice of life’s next big moment.

A must see.

Lady Bird is currently in theatres.