Manuel Palma Cornejo’s review published on Letterboxd:
There is nothing better than a movie talking about the day to day that comes naturally to the life of a person, however routine, every day and common that it may be. Most of us have days and nights that are not like the adventures we watch in the movies, and when our "boring" leisure activities, like getting up in the morning to go to school, laughing with your friends, getting angry with your parents and fall in love with someone, are represented in a story, we can feel identified. It is a simple scheme to apply, but with which you hardly cling. There is the insistence to "create a history out of the ordinary" and therefore, this film by Greta Gerwig tells you to wait, to remember and to tell you that you can be the one who is somewhat reflected on the screen.
This woman is a well-known actress and since 2013 she wrote for "Frances Ha" and later, in the screenplay for "Mistress America" (2015). With the experience she has accumulated, she now ventures with the writing and direction of "Lady Bird", a semi-autobiographical fragment of a girl in her senior school year (played by Saoirse Ronan) in her goal to escape from her house in Sacramento to study on the East Coast. Her name is Christine, but she is asked to be called Lady Bird and she expects everyone to do it, including her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) and her father Larry (Tracy Letts).
In the first scene, mother and daughter are listening to the end of the narrative of the book "The Grapes of Wrath"; both cry and console each other - this is the last time they are so happy together. She wants to go to college, but they do not have enough money because her father does not have a job and they have barely enough. Marion spends most of the movie telling her daughter that she does not stop spending and that she will not be able to get a good job in the future. On the contrary, her father is more understanding and helps her fill out applications for financial aid. It is a crazy house, because there also lives his adopted brother Miguel (Jordan Rodrigues) and the girlfriend who spends with him (played by Marielle Scott).
"Lady Bird" is basically a coming-of-age, in which the protagonist feels closed in on herself, tired of her family, tired of the school of nuns in which they teach everything, except to be free, and dealing with all kinds of new feelings. She has a friend at school called Julie (Beanie Feldstein) and spends most of her time with her until she becomes friends with the Queen Bee of the school, Jenna (Odeya Rush). She also starts having dates with guys and meets the perfect Danny (Lucas Hedges) and a somewhat more inexpressive Kyle (Timothée Chalamet). Lady Bird is 17 years old and already wants to live as an adult. She ignores that at this age there are wonderful things, and others that are unbearably hurtful.
Unlike many films that deal with this theme, "Lady Bird" is much more realistic, trying without strict stereotyping to the characters, or to the facts. This is what attracts the gaze of many viewers. Greta Gerwig is like John Hughes in letting the characters be honest in their words and not be the puppets of the script. The film is very funny and sometimes painful, but the director removes almost all the presence of melancholy, so there is no drama, at least on the screen. However, the spectators do feel the impact of things that start to happen to the main girl and the rest around her.
Despite this, "Lady Bird" has negative aspects. Although the sistory has traits of a biography, at times it loses them. If we think about "Boyhood" (2014), what we most admire is the process in a smooth stairway from childhood to adolescence. "Lady Bird" is more episodic and could go deeper into the girl. There are moments like when Julie is jealous that Lady Bird spends more time with Jenna than with her, or when Miguel and his girlfriend teach only their depressed faces that caricature their personalities and reduce the credibility already obtained.
And although the script is very smart in the process of maturity it covers, it falls unfounded on the agenda items such as homosexuality, the treatment of Latinos, the use of minimalism that is entrusted to an almost automatic good implementation and the insistent desire to do a little peace with the conservatives (mostly religious) through this comedy (as in the Spanish film "La Llamada", from 2017). These are traits that Greta Gerwig will be filing if her conviction of being truly original is maintained. But it is important to recognize that her greatest virtue is to speak of young people with their voices and recognize their current problems, with new talents and energies, (Saoirse Ronan from "Brooklyn", Lucas Hedges from "Manchester By The Sea" and Timothée Chalamet from "Call Me By Your Name" are great actors) which together make "Lady Bird" a movie that makes you smile and grant that it is good to aim for things. Finally, life is one's own. Those who are around you will stay with you or not and it is something that is chosen and learned to accept.