If you can only watch one movie this year, it should be Lady Bird.

Once in a blue moon I watch a movie that reignites my hope in the cinematic industry.

(and then I watch a blockbuster and it dies again.)

Lady Bird is that movie. It’s a rich slice of life of a high school girl in her senior year, living in Sacramento and wanting to get out of the city for college to experience art, culture, something else. Her family has financial difficulties but she’ll figure something out when she gets there, if she gets there. She tries out theatre because she thinks she might have a performative streak, she falls in love, she giggles about masturbation and wonders with her best friend what sex is like. She’s irreverent and just gonna stick to her beliefs, thank you very much, but she’s not malicious. She’s chaotic good. Through it all, even as the competing threads of social life, relationships, friendships, family, and academics threaten to overwhelm every adolescent, her sense of self stays intact: defiant, unwavering, warm. And best of all: the movie’s funny.

I am in love with this movie; it envelopes all its characters, warts and all, in its warm embrace. It captures the contradictions of the prickly mother-daughter relationship and the search for identity remarkably well. It is full of heart, which is really what I want in an art piece.

In closing I want to leave this quote from the movie: “Don’t you think they’re the same thing? Love and attention?”

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