Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is a stirring coming-of-age story focusing on the relationship between a high school senior and her mother. Saoirse Ronan plays Christine, but insists that everyone call her “Lady Bird”. Her relationship with her mother, played by the excellent Laurie Metcalf, is fraught with complications – just like any mother-daughter relationship. Gerwig’s story has obvious autobiographical aspects, lending the film a refreshing matter-of-fact feeling. Lady Bird is a flawed protagonist, and her mother isn’t perfect either. Still, Lady Bird grows up a lot in the last year of high school, despite all the awkward romances and familial tension. Though detractors may classify Lady Bird as a film that doesn’t take many risks, its themes are timeless, perfectly executed, and packed with realism. Lady Bird is a resounding success from a first-time director, a seemingly-effortless bit of cinematic mastery.
Opportunity is pregnant with possibility, but that does not dissolve the hardship associated with exploring it. John Crowley’s period piece Brooklyn explores this conflict through the eyes of Eilis (Saoirse Ronan; pronounced Seer-sha) as she leaves her small Irish town to start a new life in 1950s Brooklyn. There, she deals with homesickness, depression, and the struggle of starting anew. And though her path towards flourishing in the New World is beset with obstacles, along the way she discovers a joy which is all her own.