‘Lady Bird’: From Telluride to Oscars for Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan?

Third time could be the charm at the Oscars for Saoirse Ronan, who stars in “Lady Bird,” a character study by first-time solo director Greta Gerwig that premiered on Sept. 1 to rave reviews at the Telluride film festival. Ronan, who lost her Oscar bids for “Atonement” (2007) and “Brooklyn” (2015), plays the title character:  Christine “Lady Bird” Macpherson, a teenager looking to spread her wings.

Gerwig also wrote this intimate look at the life of someone like she once was: a Sacramento Catholic schoolgirl whose mother’s first name is Christine. After working in indie films for the better part of a decade, including co-directing and co-starring in the 2008 romantic drama “Nights and Weekends,” Gerwig’s big break came in 2012 with the title role in “Frances Ha,” a film that she co-wrote with director Noah Baumbach.

A24 is positioning “Lady Bird” as a key awards player, with its release being rolled out nationwide beginning on Nov. 10. Expect this film to do especially well with the dueling indie prizes of the Gotham and Spirit Awards. Gerwig contended at both for her performance in 2010’s “Greenberg.”

Below, a sampling of the reviews for Ronan in “Lady Bird.” After reading these excerpts, be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

Eric Kohn (IndieWire): “Ronan’s been a major screen talent for the better part of a decade, but has never crackled with such authenticity before. At the center of every scene, she’s a feisty, insuppressible presence simultaneously at odds with her surroundings and keen on dominating them whenever she can.”

Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair): “Ronan, always a compelling mix of soulful and thoughtful, plays Lady Bird’s jumble of emotions with natural, salient insight. She’s needy and curious, bored and hungry, funny and sometimes more than a little mean. You can see the potential blooming in her, and the adventure of the film, if there is an adventure, is watching that inner light wrestle its way to the surface.”

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