Sometimes you come across a movie that you can relate to so much it scares you. Lady Bird arrived on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, and I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the movie that everyone has been talking about so much. Long before it was nominated for five Oscars and a slew of other awards, my Facebook feed was filled with friends that kept talking about how much they loved this movie. My husband doesn’t watch movies like this with me, so I generally wait for them to come out and rent them. I was sent Lady Bird to review, and I’m so glad that I was because I can’t wait to share it with my mother.
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In Lady Bird, which marks Greta Gerwig’s (Frances Ha, 20th Century Women) directorial debut, Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice, excavating both the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan) fights against, but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California, in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.
I was in high school during the same period that Lady Bird was set in, which was 2002. All of the music and cool things for that time were the same ones I knew and loved. But aside from owning the same alarm clock as Lady Bird, I couldn’t get over all the similarities in her relationship with her mother. I also wondered about the way my mother was raised. She is an Irish Catholic that went to an all-girls Catholic high school when she was younger. Did she have some of the same experiences because of that aspect?
One of the things that stood out to me was that no matter how much she fought with her mother, she was always standing up for her when others spoke about her. If you had asked me in high school what my relationship with my mother would be like, I would have told you something crazy. We fought a lot back in those days but after I moved out our relationship totally changed. My mother is my best friend, and I couldn’t imagine not talking to her or seeing her for long periods of time. Just like Lady Bird had to figure out on her own by leaving the nest.
When you’re coming of age, mother-daughter relationships are complicated and tough. But they withstand hell and back. I get nervous when I think about what may happen with my daughter in the coming years when they hit their teen years, but then I remember the relationship that I have with my mother now and I get a mini sign of relief.
This story is beautiful. I suggest everyone checks it out, especially women raised by their strong, beautiful mothers.