During the first half hour I'd been thinking "Wow, this is so good!" An hour later the initial shimmer had dimmed to a degree, my attention had begun to wander, and it was on the verge of getting to be heavy-going. Quite a contrast to yesterday's film which held me throughout despite that one being some 26 mins longer. True, this doesn't have anything like the heightened drama of 'I, Tonya' but that shouldn't have held it back. The script is sharp enough - very sparky in places - and much has been made of Greta Gerwig's Oscar-nominated direction, as well as her being the film's writer, but it did just fail to sustain any involved interest up to its close for this viewer.
Saoirse Ronan plays a 17-year old senior student at a Catholic school (though she's actually nearly 24) in Sacramento who is bored with California and her school and aspires to move by herself to the east coast, without the approval of her practical, down-to-earth and argumentative mother (Laurie Metcalf, who is terrific here) and gentler, more understanding, big bear of a father (Tracy Letts) - so this is the second film in two days where there's a fraught mother-daughter relationship at its centre, though in this one there's only a bit of measured hysteria and no violence at all.
As well as the focus on the girl with her family members there's her rebellious attitude in school - towards teachers and fellow pupils - as well as her friendship with boys, first with Lucas Hedges, and then, and more importantly, with this season's flavour, Timothee Chalamet.
The film finishes with her facing new challenges.
If I hadn't seen 'I, Tonya' so recently I might have enjoyed this more. It was good, but ultimately didn't quite cut the mustard for me. As things stand I'd rather watch that former film again than this one. Nevertheless, I accord 'Lady Bird' a much more-than-respectable.........6.5.
1 hour ago