Ladybird starring Saoirse Ronan is a classic coming of age film told through the eyes of a young millennial girl in her final year of Catholic high school.
The film begins with a conversation between Christine “Ladybird” McPherson, played by Saoirse Ronan, and her mother, played by Laurie Metcalf. The conversation is more of a verbal sparring match between the two, discussing college, work ethic and drivers ed.
It’s a typical argument between mother and daughter that sets the nostalgic and familiar tone for the rest of the movie.
The one aspect of the opening scene that sets this film apart is the culmination of the angst filled car ride; Ladybird unbuckles her seatbelt and slumps out of the moving car in an act of good old teen rebellion and parental defiance.
The film is different than most in the genre, as it features an independent and strong-willed female lead, who’s story is one of a complex relationship between mother and daughter. The story, while it does feature Ladybird’s search for romance, does not focus solely on Ladybird finding love.
The story instead focuses on her relationship with her mother, a far more interesting dynamic than Ladybird and some prince charming.
The story, placed in 2002 and 2003, is somewhat reflective of the present; the current #MeToo and Times Up movements show the film in another light of female empowerment in the face of adversity.
While the coming of age story has been time and time again, Ladybird feels real to audience members. It paints an accurate picture of what it’s like to be a high school senior. Going on late night drives with your friends, the stress of choosing the right college, and as each day goes by, the overpowering feeling of senioritis.
It’s the year you discover who your true friends are, just in time to say goodbye to them. As you watch Ladybird say goodbye to her family as she leaves for college, it instantly takes you back to that same moment in your own life.
Although for a majority of the film, Ladybird and her mother don’t seem to see eye to eye, by the conclusion of the film Ladybird as a change of heart.
After having too much to drink and ending up in hospital, Ladybird finds herself attending a church service, which is symbolic of her Christian upbringing. Once the service ends, Ladybird calls her mom and gives the speech that we are all familiar with; “Mom, you were right.”
The critically acclaimed film has already picked up a few wins at the Golden Globes; Saoirse Ronan won for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical Motion Picture and the film itself won Best Comedy or Musical Motion Picture.
The film currently has a 94 percent on Metacritic and an almost unheard of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. With awards like these, Ronan could be on her way to winning an Oscar for her performance in Ladybird after being nominated for her acting in Brooklyn in 2016.
Erin McNemar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org