Lady Bird ★★★★★

"I didn’t realize, until ‘Lady Bird’ came along, how starved we are for female coming-of-age stories that don’t revolve around a girl being validated by romance.” - Saoirse Ronan

There's nothing more liberating than feeling like a story understands you and the external and internal forces that push you everyday. It's not as if I'm similar to Lady Bird in terms of her outward personality. I'm not confident or outspoken, I'm not courageous enough to dye my hair bright red. But the more I've watched this movie, the more I've come to realize that that doesn't matter. 

At her very core, Lady Bird represents everything I outwardly wish I was and everything I am internally. She's ambitious, she's idealistic, she's ashamed, she craves a life that doesn't exist in the shadow of her hometown. It's incredibly validating to realize that a story that hits so close to home is warmly embraced and makes for an enjoyable and subtly powerful experience. 

Lady Bird's desires and ambition drives the narrative rather than external factors such as romantic interests. The blatant dismissal of any romantic interest being vital to Christine's journey is a refreshing change from other coming of age movies, or any other movies period. The sequence where Christine and Julie are at prom together is an unabashedly beautiful celebration of female friendship, and of course her relationship with her mother is as complex as we've always deserved it to be seen on screen. It's a testament to the necessity for female filmmakers that prior to Lady Bird there hasn't been a popular coming of age movie about a young woman that is so female oriented, like the lives of many teenage girls actually are. 

There's something special about the way in which this movie is able to transcend boundaries to feel so universally comforting and relatable. It makes me feel nostalgic for a life that I didn't live, and that is a truly admirable accomplishment. 

Right before the credits roll, Lady Bird, now realizing she'll always be Christine, takes a deep breath as the screen cuts to black. In that brief moment, there is so much that is captured. She's starting new, she's leaving her home behind, while with a clean fist still grasping onto the parts of it that made her who she is. I can't think of anything more beautiful to hold onto.

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