A preview of ‘Lady Bird’

Director Greta Gerwig’s 2017 coming-of-age film will be featured in the Woodland Theater this weekend

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The movie follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson through her senior year of high school and has been lauded as one of the best films of 2017.

This weekend, UW-Eau Claire students and community members will have a chance to see one of the highest-rated movies of the year in the final UAC Film Committee weekend movie of the semester. “Lady Bird,” directed by Greta Gerwig, will be showing in the Woodland Theater in the Davies Student Center Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13.

The comedy-drama film premiered in 2017 and was met with widespread critical acclaim. Not only did “Lady Bird” receive a 99 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it also made Time Magazine’s list of the top ten films of the year and earned five Academy Award nominations.

Although the film is heavily praised for its artistry, it still manages to be endearing and relatable. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is as eccentric and spunky as her self-imposed nickname might suggest. The Sacramento teen spends her days rebelling against the boundaries set by her Catholic high school, sparring with her protective mother and dreaming of attending a university in New York City.

The formidably talented cast features Saoirse Ronan in the titular role, acting alongside Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet. Ronan skillfully manipulates the audience’s emotions through Lady Bird, presenting a character who is a multifaceted representation of adolescence replete in questionable decisions, sassy retorts and heartfelt anxieties.

New York Times film critic A.O. Scott praised the credibility of the film, describing it as “exceptionally well-written, full of wordplay and lively argument. Every line sounds like something a person might actually say.”

The plot focuses on Lady Bird’s senior year of high school and her quest to leave her hometown of Sacramento. Along the way, Lady Bird tries her hand at theater with her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein), dates Danny (Hedges) and Kyle (Chalamet) and picks fights with her brother (Jordan Rodrigues). Although her mother wants her to consider the nearby UC-Davis, Lady Bird has her heart set on prestigious East Coast colleges, and entreats her father to help her apply.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the film is Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother. David Sims, a film critic for The Atlantic, describes Marion McPherson (Metcalf) as “an overflowing font of love, protectiveness, and discipline, whose affection for her daughter is as obvious as her frustration. Lady Bird is a powerful illustration of the temporary tenuousness of the mother-daughter bond in the later teenage years, and the surprising strength of that connection even during times of total conflict.”

This is the first film Gerwig has written and directed entirely on her own. Gerwig’s prior movies include “Francis Ha” which she co-wrote and starred in, “Greenburg” and “Mistress America” among others. Gerwig became the fifth woman in history to be nominated in the Best Director category at the Oscars for her directorial efforts in “Lady Bird.”

The score for the film was done by Jon Brion, who has composed for several films, including “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 13 and is free to Eau Claire students with a valid ID or anyone with a Campus Films Pass.