Lady Bird, BBC Two, Friday, 9pm

At first glance this likeable coming-of-age tale, the debut feature from indie actress-turned-director Greta Gerwig, has the feel of one of those nostalgic-for-the-Noughties graphic novel adaptations that Netflix drop into their schedule every few months. In fact it’s a pretty close re-telling of Gerwig’s own late adolescence at a Catholic Girl’s School in Sacramento, the Californian state capital but certainly not its most swinging hot spot, a point made forcefully by 17-year-old Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) to her mother just before she jumps out of her car during an argument about where she’s going to go to college. Lady Bird has her cap set on New York, but the family can’t afford it so the cast she wears on her arms for much of the rest of the film is a reminder of the ‘accident’ and its cause. She scribbles ‘**** You Mom’ on the bright pink stookie, just to be sure.

The year is 2002 and Lady Bird inhabits the geekier end of the high school ecosystem, hanging out with swotty friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) while alternately mocking and envying the cool, rich girls with their cell-phones, their pools and their massive, colonial-style houses. She gains an entrée of sorts into that world when she befriends and then cops off with Danny (Lucas Hedges), a fellow amateur thespian, though she also finds herself attracted to Kyle (Timothée Chalamet), who plays bass in one of the cool band that perform at the cool girls’ house parties. Meanwhile father Larry (the excellent Tracy Letts) has lost his job, Berkeley-educated brother Miguel (Jordan Rodrigues) is working in a local shop and mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse, is the only one bringing in a decent income. Against this background Lady Bird has to negotiate losing her virginity (Danny? Kyle?), learn how to drive and how not to inhale clove cigarettes, and decide what’s really important where family and friendships are concerned.

It’s a fairly standard set-up and if you’ve seen Clueless, Ghost World and I Am Not Okay With This you’ll have a handle on where Lady Bird is coming from. But what sets the film apart is Gerwig’s script – whip-smart and at points deep, humane and insightful – and a fabulous starring performance from Saoirse Ronan. It’s no surprise that the two women teamed up again in 2019 for Gerwig’s critically-acclaimed second film Little Women, which also featured Chalamet and Letts in prominent roles.

Non-Fiction, MUBI

Now streaming

The original French title, Doubles Vies, gives a much better idea of what’s behind this 2018 satirical comedy from Olivier Assayas, which looks at the public and private lives of a group of chic, cultured Parisians as they opine (it’s the only word of it) their way through a series of romantic, sexual and social encounters in bars, bedrooms and chic, cultured dining rooms. As he did with Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep and Juliette Binoche in Clouds Of Sils Maria, Assayas casts a well-known actress as a more or less fictionalised version of herself (for example Cheung was playing the actress Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep, a film about film-making, whereas Binoche was a more precious and nuanced creation in Clouds Of Sils Maria playing a fictional actress called Maria Enders).

Here it’s Binoche again who stars. She plays Selena, an actress in a popular TV cop show married to the dashing Alain, head of a venerable Parisian publishing house which is trying to navigate the terrifying world of digital publishing. As the film opens, Alain is taking his long-standing author Leonard (Vincent Macaigne) for lunch in order to break the bad news to him that he won’t be publishing the semi-autobiographical novel he has just turned in. He returns home, tells Selena – she has read Leonard’s manuscript and quite likes it – and then dives into a dinner party with friends. Leonard, meanwhile, tells his high-flying wife Valerie (Nora Hamzawi) about the blow, but she has other things on her mind, such as the career of the leftist politician she works for. Later Selena tells a friend she thinks Alain is having an affair – he is, with Laure, his publishing house’s newly-appointed head of digital content – before Assayas reveals that Selena and Leonard are also jumping into bed with each other. And so on and so on.

It’s breathless stuff, partly because of the sex, partly because nobody ever stops talking as Assayas hurls his characters through scene after scene in which they discuss (and argue about) everything from fidelity and politics to the death of the novel and the power of the internet. Think Woody Allen on speed, with a Gitanes in one hand and a smartphone in the other.