Arts

New movies: Lady Bird and Father Figures

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

Also released...

LADY BIRD (15, 95 mins)

Released: February 16 (London & selected cinemas); February 23 (UK & Ireland)

GRETA Gerwig became only the fifth woman in Academy Awards history to be nominated as Best Director for this sublime coming-of-age comedy, which she also wrote.

Set in early 21st-century Sacramento, the sassy heroine is high school student Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), who yearns to escape the regulations of her Catholic high school for the bright lights of New York.

She insists on being called by her "given name" of Lady Bird and regularly clashes with her caring mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf), who works as a nurse at the local hospital.

Christine's laid-back father Larry (Tracy Letts) reluctantly plays peacemaker between mother and daughter.

One of the nuns at school, Sister Joan (Lois Smith), casually remarks on Christine's theatrical flair and the teenager subsequently auditions for drama club with her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein).

To Christine's dismay, Julie wins a lead role opposite dreamy classmate Danny (Lucas Hedges) while she is consigned to the background.

As hormones rage and Christine searches for acceptance from her peers, her friendship with Julie becomes strained and she pursues romance with an older boy, Kyle (Timothee Chalamet), who plays guitar in a band.

FATHER FIGURES (15, 113 mins)

Released: February 16 (UK & Ireland)

WHEN they were boys, fraternal twins Kyle (Alexander G Eckert) and Peter Reynolds (Ivan Mallon) were told the sad news about their father's death. Ever since, the brothers have forged a close bond to their eccentric mother, Helen (Glenn Close). Now grown up, Kyle (Owen Wilson) is a male model with million of dollars in the bank while Peter (Ed Helms) is divorced, embittered and struggling to make ends meet as a proctologist.

Peter is also at his wit's end trying to connect emotionally to his truculent teenage son, Ethan (Zachary Haven).

Out of the blue, Kyle and Peter learn that their father didn't die. To compound the brothers' distress, Helen isn't sure who the lucky man is because she was so generous with her affections during the 1970s.

Determined to find their biological parent, Kyle and Peter embark on a madcap road trip to meet their mother's old flames including retired football player Terry Bradshaw (playing himself), veterinarian Dr Walter Tinkler (Christopher Walken) and reclusive ex-con Roland Hunt (JK Simmons).

En route, the brothers meet an enigmatic hitchhiker (Katt Williams) and reevaluate their own strained relationship.

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