Saoirse Ronan, funny and heartbreaking in “Lady Bird”


She earned Academy Award nominations for her exceptional performances in Atonement and Brooklyn.  Now, Saoirse Ronan is up for another Best Actress Oscar for Universal Pictures’ Lady Bird which will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Trinoma, Greenebelt 1) starting February 28.

Directed by Greta Gerwig (herself nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay), Lady Bird also stars Laurie Metcalf (Best Supporting Actress nominee), Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet.

In Lady Bird, Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating both the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter.  Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Letts) loses his job.

Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.

Asked how did she come to cast Ronan and what made her so perfect for the role of Lady Bird, Gerwig shares, “I met with Saoirse at the Toronto Film Festival in 2015 when she was there for Brooklyn. I sat in her hotel room and read the entire script out loud with her. As soon as I heard her say the words, I knew beyond a doubt that she was Lady Bird. It was so different and so much better than I had imagined. She was willful and funny and heartbreaking, both universal and specific. She was going into rehearsals for The Crucible on Broadway, so it meant pushing the film for six months, but there was no other person who could have done it, it was hers two minutes into the read.

Gerwig went on to further develop the character with Ronan.  “The process of creating a character is a collage art,” notes the writer-director. “Saoirse was acting on Broadway, and I would feed her little pieces bit by bit. I would give her a novel or a poem or a song or a photograph. As we cast more people, I would gather them for mini-rehearsals. I wanted the actors to start creating a magical bubble of make believe with each other.

“As we got deeper into rehearsal before filming, Saoirse and I spent hours talking together and hanging out so that by the time we were shooting, she would be the person I’d ask about what Lady Bird would wear in a particular scene or how she would walk or sit,” Gerwig concludes.  “Saoirse developed an entire physicality around the character that informed the way I wanted to photograph her, the rhythm of the shooting and the emotion.

Lady Bird is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/.

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