James’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s been a few days since I saw Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut LADY BIRD and thought time would help me digest the film enough to articulate my thoughts in a well phrased review, but yet here I am unable to properly express myself. LADY BIRD is a film meticulously directed by Greta Gerwig that demands to be seen by everyone as the experience in itself will hit each of us in a different way, regardless of age. It’s a “coming of age” story at the centre but there is so much beyond the surface, themes that stretch from the youngest generation to the oldest. Gerwig has the ability to encapsulate such honest characters in her writing to the point where it is painfully realistic yet refreshing. Many aspects of Lady Bird and her mother’s relationship hit me far harder than I ever expected and rarely has a film showcased such a “real” connection. On the one hand, I was so uncomfortable because it was eerily similar to my relationship with my mom as if Gerwig was a fly on the wall during my life, but I also loved it because there was such a effortless synchronicity between me and aspects of the film, enhancing my viewing experience. Saoirse Ronan continues to prove that she’s one of the most exciting and versatile actresses in her generation. Laurie Metcalf solidifies her stature as one of the most genuine and natural actors currently working, making everything look effortless despite the immense intracacy and depth to every scene. Her final car scene is easily one of the best acted scenes of this year and this decade, quite honestly. I was not the biggest fan of Gerwig’s writing and behind the scenes in the past but now I can finally see her capabilities outside of her common collaborators. She easily exceeds her contemporaries and collaborators and should she continue to make her way down this path, she has an incredible career ahead of her.