The coming of age film seems to hold a certain allure to film-makers. It’s the perfect crossroads between ‘write about what you know’ and ‘write something people can relate to’, and when the right person comes along they always seem to find some untrodden ground.
Greta Gerwig is that right person. Lady Bird has all the trappings of every film that came before it - a quirky independent lead, a funny best friend who gets replaced then un-replaced, a tricky parental relationship - and yet it somehow stands alone.
It’s a gently amusing and charming film that revels in nuance rather than leaning heavily on major life events. Gerwig understands the power of detail, and how the smallest moments in life are often what stick in your memory. The film feels like a chapter in an autobiography rather than the whole book, and this is one of its main strengths.
Top it all off with a very strong lead performance from Saorise Ronan, some great supporting roles (Laurie Metcalf playing Lady Bird’s mother is largely why the film works so well), and Lady Bird is a one of a kind low-fi masterpiece.