By Michael Donelan, E23 Reporter

Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” is a fantastic and fresh look at the life of a teenage girl, and I hope that you will love it as much as I do.

Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is an extremely strong-willed young woman who always seems to be engaged in a conflict with something. Whether it be with the strict rules of her Catholic high school, herself as she explores her love life or her equally strong-willed mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), Lady Bird defies the rules and does not fit the definition of a typical teenage girl.

Lady Bird wants to get away from her life in 2002 Sacramento and attend a university on the east coast, which her hard-working parents cannot afford. She spends her days hanging out with her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) and trying to win the affections of boys in her grade, such as theater-loving Danny (Lucas Hedges) or free-spirited Kyle (Timotheé Chalamet). While Lady Bird tries to figure her life out, we see a very real story of a girl finding herself through both successes and failures.

Ronan leans up against a wall outside a convenience store.

Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) stands outside a convenience store after buying cigarettes, a lottery ticket and an adult magazine on her 18th birthday. (Source: Vimeo)

I absolutely adore “Lady Bird.” Director Greta Gerwig has earned her place with the greats as her film is bound to become a new classic, not just in the teen genre, but in all of film. “Lady Bird” was different for a teen movie, as many do not feature a strong female lead. Saoirse Ronan smashes through this glass ceiling with a strong character and razor-sharp wit. The emotions displayed by the actors and actresses were very raw and real. I’ll admit that I teared up at a couple of points toward the end of the movie.

Having just graduated from high school (a Catholic one too), the film really resonated with me, as I saw myself in the situations that Lady Bird and her peers find themselves in. I’m sure many others will also. Lady Bird stresses out as she applies for college, balances school with her social life and tries to fit in without losing who she is in the process. The film was very refreshing in that, not only did it feature a strong, independent female lead, but it showed a girl who was not afraid of her sexuality and was determined to get what she wanted.

The performances in “Lady Bird” were incredible. Like I mentioned earlier, Saoirse Ronan shines as the fiercely independent title character. I also really admired the performances of her peers, such as her funny and kind friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein really adds some great humor to the film) and the various love interests. Danny and Lady Bird meet in their school musical and they instantly become very close. Lucas Hedges was perfect, as he radiated sweetness. Kyle is very anti-establishment and gives off the independent vibe that Lady Bird likes. Timotheé Chalamet’s stoic delivery of lines had me both laughing and rolling my eyes. I also really enjoyed the performances of Lady Bird’s other family members, such as her kind-hearted father Larry (Tracy Letts), her adopted brother Miguel (Jordan Rodrigues) and his recently moved-in girlfriend Shelly (Marielle Scott). All of these people make Lady Bird’s life very complex, as her relationships are very engaging to see.

I would not be able to write a “Lady Bird” review without talking about the emotional story at the film’s core: the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother. Lady Bird and Marion often find themselves at odds with each other as both are very independent women. Lady Bird wants to attend college in New York or somewhere away from Sacramento, which her mother knows they cannot afford. Although brutally honest with Lady Bird at times, Laurie Metcalf conveys a motherly level of care. Her character can be harsh or supportive, but there is no doubt that she loves Lady Bird and wants nothing but the best for her.

Ronan and Metcalf sit on a hotel bed facing each other.

Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) sit in their hotel room after a college visit at the start of the film. (Source: Vimeo)

I am 100 percent sure that “Lady Bird” will win big this awards season. Not only do I expect the film to be nominated for Best Picture, but I would put money on a Best Actress nomination for Saoirse Ronan and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Laurie Metcalf. I would not even be surprised if Beanie Feldstein, Lucas Hedges and Timotheé Chalamet were nominated as well (although Chalamet is also earning awards buzz for his performance in “Call Me By Your Name”). Nevertheless, “Lady Bird” is fantastic and a different piece of cinema. I cannot wait to watch it over and over again.

Warning: This film will make you want to call your mom after it ends.

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