In 2002 in Sacramento, California, Christine McPherson (Ronan) is in her final year of Catholic high school. Christine insists on being called Lady Bird by everyone and is determined to go to an East Coast college even though her parents can’t afford the tuition. Lady Bird has the sympathy of her gentle, chronically unemployed father (Letts) but clashes with her frustrated, overly pragmatic mother (Metcalf).
Director Gerwig elevates the familiar teen coming-of-age subgenre with a smart, tangy script and quirky, believable characters. Ronan lets Lady Bird’s vulnerability peak through the façade of a self-absorbed teenager, and Metcalf is rapier quick as the worried, judgmental parent. Gerwig injects considerable humor and heart into this five-time Oscar nominated drama that brilliantly captures dysfunctional family dynamics and the heartbreak of first love.