Gerwig the actress skillfully pivots between the wacky and the poignant, so it's no surprise that Gerwig the auteur so delicately balances hilarity and heartbreak.
A finely wrought, deeply felt mash note to Gerwig's hometown of Sacramento, and the rare film about teenage life that puts equal weight on the dark, sad and tough parts, as it does on the joyous, raucous, euphoric moments.
It hit me unexpectedly-like a snowball between the eyes.
The movie is best when it undercuts its own seriousness, as when Lady Bird proclaims, "I want to be the best version of who I can be," and then follows up with, "What if this is the best version?"
Lady Bird finds fresh purchase in well-trodden territory by observing the human carnival from a girl's point of view.
It may be about the selfishness and growing pains of its confused and embattled heroine, but it's made from the perspective of an artist who sees the world more clearly now than she did then.
It's funny, lively, and then devastating when it needs to be, made with the kind of confidence even its heroine could only dream of.
Left to her own devices, Gerwig has arrived and solidified her place as one of the most invigorating, observant and authentic voices in movies today with a director's acumen to match.
One of the better solo directing debuts by an actor in recent memory.