101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

“I let all of these characters talk to me, and talk to each other. I overwrite,” Greta Gerwig told Written By of the genesis of her screenplay for Lady Bird, about 17-year-old Sacramento Catholic schoolgirl Christine McPherson, aka “Lady Bird.” In addition to having arguably the best explanation ever for the presence of a nickname (“It was given to me, by me,” Lady Bird says), the screenplay’s highly affecting mother-daughter relationship begins with a classic deploying of “show don’t tell,” with Lady Bird exiting a moving car, stage right, during a fight with her mother.

READ: Greta Gerwig gives Lady Bird lots of love and attention.