10 Best Lady Bird Moments

8. Marion and Larry in the Bathroom

Early on in the film, Lady Bird’s parents share a private moment in the bathroom while the kids are getting ready for school, sharing news of an old friend’s death and laughing about whether their son and his girlfriend have sex on the pull-out couch. Larry brushes his teeth. Marion reads the newspaper.

It’s a small moment, but like everything in Lady Bird, it adds so much nuance to the characters and their relationships with each other. Larry and Marion aren’t just mom and dad, they’re real people and they have a real relationship with each other that extends far beyond their children. Showing them in a private, domestic moment, humanizes both of them, especially Marion.

Gerwig makes it a point to show us that Lady Bird isn’t always right or nice or fair. She’s just a kid and she can be incredibly selfish. Marion doesn’t want to hurt her daughter. She’s just been alive longer and that’s something everyone can relate to as they age.

7. Marion Tells Lady Bird to Pick Up Her Clothes

After Lady Bird comes home from the homecoming dance late because she was kissing Danny, Marion confronts her about not cleaning her room and picking up her clothes. Lady Bird’s good mood is instantly deflated, but Marion tries to make Lady Bird understand the gravity of the situation: her father has just lost his job and he may not find a new one if people think the family is “trash.”

Lady Bird and her family are not well off, and Marion’s anxieties around money are constant throughout the film. It’s a sobering look at how it feels to want to give your children the world and knowing that you’ll never be able to.

Gerwig makes every character in Lady Bird feel like a real person, despite how much screen time they have. Little details about their lives add layers – no one is one note.

Kyle’s father is suffering from cancer. Jenna is in AP Calculus and wants to be a mom. Larry struggled with depression. Everyone has their own thing – something that makes them interesting and adds depth to their character.

When Lady Bird asks her mom about her own mother – and if she wished she didn’t get mad about not folding her clothes – Marion is silent, eyes dark, face weary. Finally, she says, simply, “My mom was an abusive alcoholic,” and walks out of the room. Laurie Metcalf’s acting in this moment is so superb, so haunted and so sad, and knowing just a little bit more about who Marion is makes her feel that much more real.

6. Larry Wishes Lady Bird a Happy Birthday

When Lady Bird finally turns 18, her father presents her with a cupcake and a single birthday candle. They have a sweet moment in her room – a moment a lot of girls can relate to.

While Lady Bird is mainly about the relationships between mothers and daughters, it’s about dads too – and how different those relationships can be. While Larry is easy going and loving, Marion is strict and tough. It’s a dynamic that a lot of daughters know all too well.

This moment is also a great showcase for Tracy Letts as an actor, who also appears in Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Little Women. Like Metcalf, Letts is a prolific performer of both stage and screen. Letts elevates every scene he’s in.

Recommended for you: Little Women (2019) Review

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