By KENNA MOSS
The end of the school year and the approach of college and high school graduations create the ideal time to re-watch the 2017 coming-of-age comedy-drama, “Ladybird.” This movie illustrates the trials and tribulations of the end of adolescence as a high school senior makes plans for her future.
As Christine, (Saoirse Ronan) experiences her last year of high school, she is seen applying to several universities all on the East Coast of America. She’s sick of living in Sacramento, California, and wants to “live through something.” Christine, who calls herself Ladybird, experiences many firsts: hanging out with people much different from her, an intimate relationship, as well as her first encounter with alcohol and other substances.
In an attempt to express her feelings of hatred for the current place she’s in, she tends to put herself in situations where she discovers that things around her are not always as they seem. Ladybird depicts what it feels like to try new things and learn from mistakes, all in a dreamy aesthetic with unconventional mannerisms and dialogue.
The movie paints a picture of realistic dynamics of adolescence, other than the traditional happy nuclear-family trope. I have seen “Ladybird” time and time again and have loved it just as much as the last time I watched it.
This movie is very near and dear to my heart because I have had very similar feelings about my own life… the desire to leave my hometown, to be someplace new, to feel as though I could be my true self and not be suppressed by the reputation of myself and the people around me. I know what it is like to be so frustrated by something that it turns into an obsession.
Some of the strengths of “Ladybird” are that, for the most part, it’s pretty realistic in terms of the things that happen to be Christine. Another strength this film has is that there are a few places in the film that could be open to interpretation. It doesn’t answer every single question the viewers might ask themselves. I feel as though by doing this, the film is more malleable to what the viewers want it to mean to them. It has a much deeper meaning than many movies do.
Christine says things that aren’t heard every day, she has her way of talking to people and doing things. She named herself Ladybird, she listens to music that her classmates don’t like, she doesn’t like living in Sacramento. The film is not shallow and it does not revolve around a romantic relationship or sex, it is just about a girl experiencing and finding herself. Because of this, it may not be as easily understood or depicted by every viewer.
Overall, the impact of Ladybird is that it is relatable to people who have wanted nothing more than to start anew. This film is an indie coming-of-age story that many people, including myself, understand deeply. While it is not based on a true story, it is very believable and I admire the director Greta Gerwig for piecing together what many teenagers have experienced in their lives and making it into something entertaining and enjoyable to watch.