Saturday, 24 February 2018

Review: Ladybird - Charming coming of age tale that sees Ronan in award winning form

Nominated for five Academy Awards and the winner of two Golden Globes Ladybird is the semi autobiographical tale of writer/director Greta Gerwig's adolescence upbringing in Sacremento, California. Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) rebels against but is not too dissimilar to her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job.
For first time director Greta Gerwig Ladybird is an extremely personal yet accomplished piece of work with it's personal and emotional pulses that beat throughout the film really what makes it work so well. Encapsulating ideas both big and small, from life changing career decisions to the bittersweet transition from adolescence to adulthood this charming heartfelt and honest movie captures it's audiences hearts from start to finish and never lets go.
Central to all that is good about this film is the complicated relationship between Ladybird and her mother Marion and this works not only due to the strong writing but the incredible performances given by the two central actors, Saoirse Ronan and Laura Metcalf.
Ronan is simply sensational and without Frances McDormand's tour de force in Three Billboards would unquestionably be heading home this year with that coveted Academy Award (although I wouldn't write her off just yet!). She brings both a swagger and vulnerability and more importantly likeability to the central which is no mean feat. Metcalf too is the perfect foil for Ronan in a role that should bring her awards glory too (but she may miss out to the impressive Alisson Janney in I, Tonya) and would have earned considerably more plaudits for her performance was it not for the heights hit by Ronan.
Overall, this is a outstanding and earnest coming of age tale devout of all the of the pomposity that such movies can bring and one filled with joy, pain and soul and one that will resonate with it's audience long after the final credits roll. Excellent!

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