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Lady Bird


Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Timothee Chalamet, Lucas Hedges, Lois Smith

Director: Greta Gerwig

Actress Gerwig's directorial debut is a winner, but only just. A coming of age story, it has a nice atmosphere and good moments that do compensate for the draggy ones.

The estimable Ronan has a difficult role here as the eponymous Lady Bird, a typically stroppy and rebellious teenager girl who resents her over-caring mother (Metcalf), getting on better with her out-of-work father (an easy role for Letts, but one he still handles well).

There are the inevitable schoolgirl crushes, one of whom tuns out to be gay and another of whom seduces our heroine, but is not the virgin he pretends to be. So, disillusionment is only one of several familiar elements, including the best friend who finds herself sidelined when someone more charismatic comes along, and the waiting for letters from New York universities, as Lady Bird aches to get away from her home town of Sacramento.

The direction sometimes lacks fluidity, but does help the actors hit the right emotional notes. There's a nice exchange between the two leads, when Metcalf says: 'I want you to be the very best version of yourself that you can be' and Ronan replies 'What if this is the best version?'

I found the end confusing, but maybe that's just me.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
94 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 11 Feb 2018