Greta Gerwig’s charming solo directorial debut

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“ANYBODY who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.” The quote from Joan Didion (a writer who, like Greta Gerwig, was born in California’s capital) rather sets the tone of “Lady Bird”. It is a coming-of-age story, following Christine (Saoirse Ronan), a teenager longing to get away from Sacramento, which she calls the “Midwest of California”. She dreams instead of college on the east coast, to have a name different from the one her parents picked for her and to live in a big blue house with white shutters on the “right” side of the train tracks—rather than the modest dwellings her hard-up parents are able to afford.

The semi-autobiographical “Lady Bird” is Ms Gerwig’s debut as writer and solo director, but she shows the wisdom and empathy of an experienced film-maker. Each character is flawed and likable, particularly Lady Bird (Ms Ronan)—a moody, pimply teenager, who is quick-witted, mercurial and observant. Marion, her crushingly forthright mother, never shies away from…Continue reading

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