Lady Bird - Review
by Anita Markoff
Lady Bird is a film that will instantly have you reaching for your phone to call your mother, maybe for the first time in weeks. Although this is a feisty coming of age movie, unlike others in the genre, it focuses on the complexity of mother-daughter relationships. Beside the protagonist in the aisles of a thrift store searching for a bright and quirky dress for Thanksgiving dinner or prom, beside her in the bathroom as she debates on the appropriate time to have sex for the first time, beside her in the car listening to Grapes of Wrath on a long road trip, Caroline’s mother is a constant presence throughout the film. Their inability to communicate is the most heart wrenching part of the film, seeping through all the teenage theatrical outbursts Lady Bird has about new relationships with friends or boyfriends. Lady Bird is only able to transition into adulthood when she escapes from the sunlit quiet hometown she claims to hate, into a big city where she is free to be bohemian and call herself whatever name she chooses. It is there, in a soaring chapel, hungover, face stained with mascara, that she realises what her favourite nun had been trying to tell her all along: the currency of love is focused attention. All the liberty and exciting experiences she can have while independent will never replace the space her mother and hometown have in her heart – she pays attention to them because she loves them. And although we may not have memories of sunsets over Sacramento bridge or long car rides with our mothers, the film reminds us of how much we love them too.