do you like me lady bird

2021 cinema is shaping up to be a combination of 2017 and 2019. In October alone, films such as Dune, The French Dispatch, Last Night in Soho, and Titane are premiering, and that is only four out of over 10. Since 2017 was mentioned, let us go back to that jam-packed year filled with cinematic gems. Cue in Ladybird.

Pink hair? Catholic all-girls high school relatability? Saoirse Ronan, Lucas Hedges, and Timothee Chalamet? What is there not to love about this film? Ladybird was Greta Gerwig’s first solo-directorial debut, a coming-of-age story that follows Christine (though “Call me Ladybird like you said you would!”), on the rollercoaster known as life, navigating through high school, friendships, relationships, college decisions, rocky family dynamics, and well, life. There is at least one aspect from the film that could be relatable to someone or it can be 50 aspects, if speaking for myself.

Both a crowd and Academy-favorite, Ladybird grabbed five Oscar nominations in 2018. During the Oscars’s Best Picture nominees presentation, the last scene from Ladybird’s montage video was the dressing room scene, where Christine says a popular line. In this scene, Ladybird is going shopping with her mom, Marion, for a prom dress. There is your typical mother-daughter banter and then the conversation takes a serious turn. Ladybird finds thee dress. Her mother makes a comment about it being too pink and Ladybird is frustrated in return. Let’s analyze the dialogue:

“But do you like me?” It is inarguably expected that parents have to love their kids and when this is known to the child, as they grow up, they might utter the phrase at least once in their life, “You have to love me because you’re my mom. You have to say that because you’re my dad.” But do our parents like us? Do they truly like us as a person, not the title of their child? If we were to not be their child and meet us in a parallel world, would they like us? Marion couldn’t answer the question. In the scene, she is taken aback by the sudden question but not confused by it. She knew what her daughter was asking her and couldn’t answer. It is one of those questions we ask ourselves as we start to grow up, mature, become more aware of our surroundings and situations, and also question every little thing.

A girl’s relationship with her mother, while it could be healthy, it could also be rocky. Sometimes as daughters, we feel nothing is ever enough for our parents, specifically our moms. Mothers have the tendency to always comment on a situation, regardless how small, such as shopping for a prom dress, and give off this impression they are never satisfied with something. For example, Ladybird complains about a dress being too tight, mom responds that she should have not had the second serving of pasta. Ladybird finds the perfect dress, mom finds the smallest criticism that it’s too pink. When Marion cannot answer Ladybird’s question, the conversation hits us harder in the gut.

M: I want you to be the very best version of yourself that you can be.

This was the last line of the montage video and Oscars chuckled. In return, Ladybird’s frustration became mine. There is so much being said with only one line. Ladybird was telling her mom, “This is me,” and this is all people will get. This is her best and she hopes that is enough for others, for her family, and especially, her mom. Not only does she hope her best version is enough, but also accepted and loved in return. Marion wants to say something afterwards but is at a loss of words, what her daughter said beginning to sink in. There is nothing comedic about this scene; it punches one in the gut with pain, relatability, reality, and truth.

The dressing room scene is only under three minutes yet is one of the most impactful and beautiful scenes from the movie, adding to what makes this film so special and remaining in our memories forever. Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird will remain in our memories forever and proves that A24 continues to produce and distribute cinematic gems.

Marion believes that there is a thin line that separates being critical and helpful, and she is walking it. However, to her daughter, every criticism feels like another blow to the heart, an assault on her identity that she will never be able to overcome. They’re both incorrect, and that’s what makes Gerwig’s script so amazing—it allows its characters to be incorrect without making the audience stop loving them. “Why can’t you say I look nice?” Lady Bird asks. Marion responds, “I thought you didn’t even care what I think.” “I’m sorry, I was telling you the truth. Do you want me to lie?”.

The period setting lends support to that intense storytelling approach; the Iraq War breaks out during the movie, developing in the background and intensifying the sense of a world thrown into chaos. However, it is also propelled by the nuanced, accurate depiction of Lady Bird’s bond with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), which alternates between being passively endearing and combative at one point. Gerwig manages to take a fresh look at the mother-daughter film genre with Lady Bird, allowing both characters’ imperfections to be acknowledged without ever becoming overtly horrific. Yes, Lady Bird and Marion have an endless potential to hurt each other, but that’s only because of how intensely linked—and sometimes horrifyingly similar—they are to one another. Nothing exemplifies that more than their silent discussion in a dressing room towards the end of the movie while Lady Bird is trying to choose a prom dress.

The Atlantic’s “And, Scene” series will explore some of the most intriguing movies of the year over the course of the next month by focusing on a single, significant scene and delving into what it says about 2017. Next up is Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. (Read our previous entries here. ).

It’s exciting that Lady Bird has become one of the surprise indie successes of the year, both in terms of critical reception and box office. Not just because it’s a female-led film from a female writer-director, something that’s still sorely lacking in the industry, but also because it’s such a grounded tale, finding real drama and lasting emotion in the adolescence of a flawed, lovable protagonist. So many of the female-led films that Hollywood takes note of (particularly at Oscar season) are tales of extreme suffering, or revenge, or true-story heroism. But just as crucial is finding something powerful in regular life, an ordinary year lived, an exchange of dialogue, a memorable song, or even just a mother’s glance.

In the last scene of the movie, Lady Bird’s turbulent senior year is coming to an end. Her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) was strained by her misguided relationship with the sardonic bad boy Kyle (Timothée Chalamet), whom she had dated and later discovered was gay. She also dated a nice guy from the school play named Lucas Hedges. The nurse mother of Lady Bird is always berating her about something; it could be the condition of her room, the way she describes her family’s social standing (saying they’re from “the wrong side of the tracks”), or any of a thousand other concerns that frequently seem to be exacerbated by the family’s unstable financial situation. Marion is very conscious of appearance, but Lady Bird—like many teenagers—often makes snap judgments that come across as insensitive or hurtful. However, as the audience has already deduced, she and her mother share that characteristic.

A girl and her mother may have a positive relationship, but it may also be difficult. As daughters, we occasionally feel that nothing is ever enough for our parents, especially our mothers. Mothers frequently make comments about everything, no matter how little, like going prom dress shopping, and give the impression that they are never happy with anything. For instance, when Ladybird complains that her dress is too tight, her mother tells her not to eat the second serving of pasta. Mom finds the tiniest critique that Ladybird’s dress is too pink when she finds the ideal one. Marion’s inability to respond to Ladybird’s inquiry makes the conversation more painful for us internally.

A popular film and an Academy Award winner, Ladybird received five nominations for the Oscars in 2018. The final scene from Ladybird’s montage video, which featured Christine saying a well-known line in the dressing room, was shown during the Oscars’ Best Picture nominees presentation. In this scene, Ladybird is going prom dress shopping with her mother, Marion. After some standard mother-daughter banter, the discussion becomes serious. Ladybird finds thee dress. When her mother remarks that it is excessively pink, Ladybird becomes irate. Let’s analyze the dialogue:

The movies of 2021 appear to be a hybrid of those of 2017 and 2019. Just four of the more than ten movies that have been released so far have premiered in October: Titane, The French Dispatch, Last Night in Soho, and Dune. Since 2017 was brought up, let’s revisit that action-packed year that was full of wonderful films. Cue in Ladybird.

The Oscars laughed at this line in the montage video. In return, Ladybird’s frustration became mine. There is so much being said with only one line. “This is me,” Ladybird was saying to her mother, and this is all that people would ever get. She hopes that this is sufficient for other people, her family, and most importantly, her mother. She hopes that her best self is enough and that she will also be accepted and loved in return. Marion is struggling to express herself after her daughter’s words start to really hit home. This scene hits one in the gut with pain, relatability, reality, and truth; it is not humorous at all.

“But do you like me?” It goes without saying that parents must love their children, and if they grow up knowing this, they may say to themselves at least once, “You have to love me because you’re my mom.” You have to say that because you’re my dad. Marion was unable to respond to the question, “But do our parents like us? Do they truly like us as a person, not the title of their child? If we were to not be their child and meet us in a parallel world, would they like us?” In the scene, she is surprised by the abrupt question but does not find it troubling. She was aware of her daughter’s question but was unable to respond. It’s one of those queries we pose to ourselves as we begin to mature, grow older, become more conscious of the world around us, and start to doubt everything.


Why does Christine like being called Lady Bird?

Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan as Christine, a high school senior who prefers to be called Lady Bird, rather than her birth name. The reason is never explained but we can gather that she doesn’t like her ordinary life and so this is her attempt to differentiate herself.

What is the deeper meaning of Lady Bird?

The true essence of the film lies in the gentle depiction of Lady Bird slowly emerging from being totally self-absorbed to being more aware of what surrounds her and its value. We observe the character’s growing understanding of how the people and places of her life have shaped who she is. We’ve all been there.

Why did people like Lady Bird so much?

The film is witty and tender, shrewd but not cynical, and quiet, so blissfully quiet. By quiet, I don’t mean dull. The plot clipped along at a brisk pace, centered on the relationships between Christine, aka Lady Bird, and the people in her life. They’re normal people.

Why does she call herself Lady Bird?

-DID YOU KNOW that Christine’s self-given nickname – “Lady Bird” – wasn’t inspired by Lady Bird Johnson? Rather, Gerwig told NPR’s Terry Gross that it was likely influenced by the words to a Mother Goose nursery rhyme: “Ladybird, ladybird/Fly away home/Your house is on fire/And your children all gone.”