Focus Takes International Distribution on Saoirse Ronan’s ‘Lady Bird’

Focus Features has acquired international rights to Saoirse Ronan’s “Lady Bird” and will handle distribution in all territories outside North America.

Lady Bird,” directed by Greta Gerwig in her feature debut, premiered on Sept. 3 at the Telluride Film Festival, then showed on opening night at the Toronto Film Festival.

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a strong review: “The real surprise is just how honest and personal this film proves to be — again, par for the course with Gerwig, and yet, fairly rare among first-time directors, who haven’t had nearly so much practice simply being real.”

The film focuses on the edgy relationship between Ronan’s brash high schooler and her mother, played by Laurie Metcalf. In the first trailer, Ronan’s character threw herself out of a moving car after being harangued by her mother.

The comedy-drama, set in 2002 in Sacramento, Calif., also stars Tracy Letts in the father role and Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet as the romantic interests. A24 opens “Lady Bird” on Nov. 10.

Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, and Evelyn O’Neill are the producers. A24 and IAC are the production companies.

“With ‘Lady Bird,’ Greta has proven herself to be both a brilliant illusionist and a towering filmmaker,” said Focus chairman Peter Kujawski. “She tricks us into believing this is an intimate story about a specific character, time, and place until the culmination of the laughter and the tears makes you realize it’s actually a grand epic that is as universal, relatable and emotionally powerful as any story of mothers and daughters that has ever been put on film.”

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