There is excellent work from actors Laurie Metcalf, Lois Smith (as a nun) and Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig‘s movie, Lady Bird (2017), and pretty appealing work from Gerwig as well. Ronan enacts “Lady Bird,” or Christine, McPherson, an adolescent girl who attends a Catholic high school and who frequently fights with her intolerant if concerned mother (Metcalf).
Director Gerwig wrote the intelligent screenplay, never lapsing, unlike other small-film scenarists, into smug pseudo-intellectualism. Up to a point, even so, her writing is schematic: Lady Bird drifts away from her best buddy and befriends a cool beauty, who disappoints her. Chastened, she then returns to her best buddy with customary sentimentality resulting. A letdown, this. Also, the film could use more psychological believability, as when the defensive Lady Bird literally pleads with her mother to be reasonable about her going to an Eastern college.
But many jewels are glittering in Lady Bird. It presents interesting characters and dialogue, and it boasts a lovely ending involving a church and a phone call. It is, I think, a film that believes in God, along with being respectful of its few devoutly Catholic figures.