This is a coming of age movie that portrays a realistic experience of a young woman in high school, battling the challenges of trying to be unique, mapping out what it means to be yourself, who is right to surround yourself with. The film also brings to light the issues of lower-middle-class families through the perspective of an intelligent but at times naive teenager.
Saoirse Ronan Plays Christine “ladybird” Mcpherson who the film focuses on; however, the focus bleeds into other significant characters in the movie. Marion Mcpherson (played by Laurie Metcalf) the mother who struggles to provide for her family whom she would do anything for, but ends up forgetting to show it due to her stubborn and strong personality. Julie Steffans (played by Beanie Feldstein ), Christine’s Friend, showcases a side of being a teenager that is simply real. She is out of place, but ends up having to act unbothered, and happy so she does not show how unhappy she is. Julie is Christine’s rock, but Cristine does not often offer Julie the same courtesy. Danny O’Neill (Lucas Hedges), Cristine’s first love interest in the movie, ends up being a closeted person of the LGBT member. He denies his identity at the beginning as to fit in, repressing his true self, he dates Cristine, mistaking friendship love for something more. Kyle Schieble (Timothee Chalamet), the popular unattached boy who Cristine (along with most girls) wanted to be with. In my opinion, this was Cristine having a boyfriend because of her want to be accepted by her new group of friends, so although she may have believed she loved him or wanted him, she was not thinking the whole thing through and went along with him only because it was convenient. The list goes on of characters that represent a very real character that could be easily recognized in anyone’s life. The brother, who is seen as an outcast through his sister’s eyes, is one of the only characters that feel comfortable within himself and shows his identity on his sleeve. The brother’s girlfriend, a girl cast out from her family, a tough childhood, known for being forgotten, but still strong and displays gratitude for those who acknowledge her. The Drama teacher, silently suffering from depression, unable to find happiness in his own life. The father, who is subject to ageism in the workplace, having to face his family knowing he is not able to support them with the things they deserve.
Along with the characters that have a nearly indescribable depth, the true masterpiece within the movie is the relationship between the daughter “ladybird” and the mother. The film expertly navigates the trials of getting along with the person who is trying to raise a child, and what happens when that child is seeking autonomy from her parents. Small rebellions such as changing her name, smoking, telling people she lives on the wrong sides of the tracks, spending more and more time away from home. However, when Christine is upset, worried, and down, she seeks comfort in the family. The mother-daughter relationship is anything but harmonious, as there are ups and downs, just like in any parent-child relationship, and this is portrayed in a cinematically beautiful and substantial way.
I highly recommend this movie, Greta Gerwig produced perfection when she brought this concept to life. Laurie Metcalf, Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein are wonderful in portraying the characters that are so uniquely and easily placed within our own lives. The film brings to life a coming of age concept that is genuine, and impactful. If you like Art house, Independent, or any films by Wes Anderson, you are going to love this.