Lady Bird ★★★★½

The single most delightful moviegoing surprise I’ve had this year.

I could write for you a long, detailed review disassembling Greta Gerwig’s film, going into the penetrating insight of its writing, the unshowy confidence of its direction, the startling vividness of its pointillist structure, or the bravura burst of light that is Saoirse Ronan’s performance at the center of it all. Problem is, I’m still unable to talk about it in a sober fashion.

As this film charts the growing maturity of its heroine, how she realizes she’s just another face in an endlessly fascinating crowd, it reveals a curiosity, care and deep compassion that’s nothing less than astonishing. The movie’s heart is so full it’s close to bursting, and the more I think about it the more moving it becomes.

“You write about Sacramento so affectionately, and with such care.”

“I was just describing it.”

“It comes across as love.”

“Sure, I guess I pay attention.”

“Don’t you think maybe they are the same thing? Love and attention?”

LADY BIRD, you have my full attention.

(Fear of commitment is the only thing keeping this at 4.5, a re-watch could very well give it the Full Five. Just letting you know now.)

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