Saoirse Ronan plays a High School Senior growing up in 2002. The story is set mostly in Sacramento, California where Ronan’s family lives “on the wrong side of the tracks.” They’re not exactly poor, but they’re living paycheck to paycheck. Ronan’s mother, played by Laurie Metcalf (who plays Sheldon’s mother on The Big Bang Theory), works double shifts as a nurse at a psychiatric hospital to keep her family afloat. Ronan’s character names herself “Lady Bird” not after LBJ’s wife but because she wants to soar. However, soaring is difficult because of the family’s problems–financial and personal. Lady Bird is a coming-of-age story, but it is also one of the best mother-daughter movies I’ve seen. Movies about teenagers sometimes go off the rails, but Lady Bird keeps the audience guessing as the plot unfolds. And Ronan’s character displays many flaws as she explores boys, sex, and friendship. Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Lady Bird. It’s one of the best movies of 2017. GRADE: A-

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