Family, friends and fans lined up outside Tower Theatre on Sunday night for the local premiere of Sacramento-native Greta Gerwig’s film “Lady Bird.”
The film, which she also wrote, is Gerwig’s directorial debut and her “love letter to Sacramento,” she said in brief comments to media at the theater.
“Everything is just so meaningful right now,” Gerwig said of the screening in Sacramento, where she was born and attended St. Francis Catholic High School. “I’m honored, I’m thrilled to be at the Tower Theatre, where I’ve gone to see movies since I was a little kid.”
“Lady Bird” tells the coming-of-age story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson as she navigates her senior year at a Catholic high school, and a loving-but-complicated relationship with her mother who is working double shifts to support the family after Christine’s father loses his job.
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Gerwig said parts of the film are autobiographical. After graduating high school, Gerwig left Sacramento to attend Barnard College in New York. Like Gerwig, Christine aspires to leave California behind for the East Coast.
Scenes for the film were shot at the Tower Bridge and a house in the Fabulous Forties. But parts of the film were shot elsewhere, Gerwig said, because she was not able to get a film tax credit she sought.
“Lady Bird” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September and received positive reviews.
“The other big response is that everybody tells me they want to come visit Sacramento,” Gerwig said.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg appeared with Gerwig on the red carpet. Gerwig said her family and friends were in attendance at the premiere as well.
“I’ve known her since she was very young and it’s totally amazing to see her journey,” said Olivia Alvarado, who attended the premiere.
Gerwig shot to fame as an indie star in films like “Greenberg,” “Mistress America” and “Frances Ha.”
The film, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, stars Saoirse Ronan as a Sacramento teenager trying to find her way out of California as she struggles with a strained relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf), her Catholic high school and her lofty aspirations.Trailer courtesy of A24