Birds of America 2008 (2008) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A regular guy struggles with a repressive home and professional life, as well as making amends for the trouble his free-spirited brother and sister cause about town. Runtime: 85 mins Release Date: 21 Oct 2008
Though the title is derived from Audubon's priceless book and there are several references within the film corresponding to the title, it also serves as a metaphor. The film centres around a dysfunctional family and each member is like a bird. Morrie Matthew Perry is a bird who's lived in a cage for so long that he's finding it difficult to break free. His wife Bettie is like a bird who desperately wants to create a nest and nurture children. His brother Jay is a gentle young bird who keeps flying. And, similarly, his sister too keeps flying, only that she's flying away from <more>
having to deal with her problems.While movies about dysfunctional families are becoming redundant these days though they haven't tired me , 'Birds Of America' feels refreshing. It's a funny, at times hilariously outrageous, heartwarming, whimsical, poetic and humane little film. While these siblings, who have grown up without stable parents, have their own problems, their unconditional love for one another is strong and genuine it is sensitively demonstrated by the actors with compassion. They do feel like a real family.Friedman's writing is superb as the dialogues are authentic, symbolic and humorous and the poetry of the story comes across very well. The characters are very real with a gentle touch of humour. Lucas's direction is equally good as he stays focused on the main story, telling it with sincerity and clarity. In addition, Yaron Orbach's playful cinematography and Ahrin Mishan's whimsical score are excellent and they beautifully enhance the mood. Eric Kissack's editing is crisp. It is a very short film but it's rounded up well.The performances are outstanding. It was great to see Matthew Perry in a serious role with a comic touch . He just proves what a versatile actor he is and his effective portrayal comes across as very genuine. Lauren Graham is just as fantastic as the desperate housewife desperate to have kids with the husband she loves. Ben Foster is brilliantly restrained and very likable. He does not have to rely on overt gimmicks to draw laughter. Ginnifer Goodwin too is excellent as the promiscuous, carefree and addictive sister Ida. Hilary Swank springs a pleasant surprise as the pompous 'perfect' neighbour. It's a role that any star of her caliber would turn down without second thought and it's not a role that one would expect an accomplished actress to play but Swank does a fine job nonetheless and it was great to see her as part of an already magnificent cast.It's a light hearted film and it's basically about lightening up and not to take every single thing in life so seriously but at the same time to respect other's boundaries. To quote a friend, 'it's about the invisible boundaries of social norms: both breaking and respecting them and it's about the importance of loving and respecting people who care for you family and real friends versus sucking up to others only because they might give you a promotion or a 'better' social status'.
I watched this movie and i enjoyed it, I really did. But I've read some comments after watching it and I found that within that movie you shouldn't do that reading comments , they are too much disturbing. So I got a small warning/advice for people who are intending to watch this fine movie: don't read the comments, just watch it. I can guarantee that you will see a great performance of M. Perry and rest of the "team". But hey, how can you see this comment when you shouldn't supposed to read it ? I hope you gonna read it anyway, and maybe you enjoy this movie as much <more>
as I did. Thats all what i want to say about this thing, but i cant post mine text cause its too short. I didn't want to write a science work considering "Birds of America", just a note that will encourage somebody to see this movie.
I know a nine is going to seem high. But after a slow start, this movie begins to grab at you. There are moments you feel the boundaries of realism have been touched upon, but somehow it all meshes together and becomes the heartfelt story it's meant to be.At times, you might suspect the actors were learning improvisational skills on the job, as they most definitely improved scene after scene. Give this movie the half hour investment of boredom you might endure, and you'll be grateful for the half hour you "suffered" through.Matthew Perry hasn't had the best of luck in <more>
reviews of his movies. I think this movie should certainly help to redeem any sagging career thoughts swirling is his head.
Great movie. It addresses to a great number of heavy subjects, such as mental illness, suicide, spouse-trouble without making it a serious depressing movie. It does not achieve this by putting lots of humor in it and so it didn't lose it's serious touch.Maybe the plot, or 'lesson-to-be-learned' is that you should fight given rules of society or bourgeoisie or what have you, BUT it's rather subtle. By this I mean that it doesn't put eccentric behavior on a pedestal as in movies like Falling Down or American Beauty or Fightclub just to mention some big names .So this <more>
adds up in a good vibe and not hard-to-watch movie, acting and directing in this movie is great also.The only thing that could have bother me is the chasing-scene in the end, where they all meet up by 'accident', it's a bit too unrealistic to fit into the rest of the movie, but it does give it sort of an artistic twist.All in all in very much recommend this movie.
You might be getting a little tired of movies about dysfunctional families. I know I am. I think I've seen at least three at Sundance this year. But Birds of America manages to break the mold and feel fresh and alive from the outset, delivering a warm, funny, zany, tender and compassionate film that left the audience smiling and satisfied.Morrie Matthew Perry is an uptight university professor anxiously seeking tenure, which requires the approval of his department head, who lives next door. Morrie and his wife Betty Lauren GrahamGilmore Girls live in a house he inherited at 18 years <more>
old after his mother died and his father committed suicide. As a result, Morrie raised his brother Jay Ben Foster and sister Ida Ginnifer Goodwin , both of which grew into their problems. Ida is substance-abusing and promiscuous, and Jay a deeply gentle and sensitive soul whose actions are almost completely unfettered by advanced thought. They reunite in the family home when Jay gets run over by a car he was laying in the road and Morrie, who still feels more parent than brother, asks him to move in for a while. Without asking permission, Jay invites Ida to join them, stressing Morrie and Betty's relationship and jeopardizing his career with their outrageous behavior.Matthew Perry is surprisingly good in his deadpan portrayal of an overwrought brother who cares deeply for his siblings, often at his own expense. Goodwin is a pleasure as well, as the addictive personality with the carefree spirit. But Ben Foster 3:10 to Yuma is great, and despite having such a naturally funny role, manages to never play Jay for laughs, creating an endearing and memorable character. Growing up without parents, these three have formed an unbreakable bond, with unconditional love and acceptance, and a tenderness and compassion unlike any I can remember in movies. Elyse Friedman has crafted a remarkable script, and Sundance veteran director Craig Lucas Secret Lives of Dentists, The Dying Gaul brings it to life with a funny but light-hearted and gentle touch.
Honestly I found this movie to be a very enjoyable experience. The pacing was fantastic, the whole time I wanted a character to do this or that, but they didn't, so I'd get frustrated. But then a half hour later they'd do something twice as satisfying then what I had wanted them to do and with perfect timing. The movie starts off a little slow but let yourself get to know the characters, try to understand their points of view and guess how they became this way. By the end of the film everything is understood and it makes those first few scenes even better now that you understand <more>
why the characters where acting the way they were.Elyse Friedman's writing feels genuine. The characters are rich, and the story plays out very well in getting to know those characters. At times you think you have one figured out and then you learn something new that changes who they are in your eyes. I love when a film can do that affectively and this one does. It feels like a character piece, but unlike most who overdo the story, this film is entertaining enough just getting to know the characters.Craig Lucas does a great job directing the camera to support the performances. This film has a genuine indie feel. It's not forced it just fits.The performances are also very appropriate for the feel of the film. Matthew Parry was a fantastic choice for his role. He acts by not overdoing it. He keeps his performance inside and in turn it seems more real on the outside. Ben Foster is perfect. He nails the character in a way that few actors could have pulled it off. He makes me want to meet Jay and have a conversation with him. I want to hang out with him and ask him about his perspectives on life. Lastly but certainly not least, was Ginnifer Goodwin. I want you Ginnifer, I want you so bad. She delivers a performance that is fantastic in its combination of both subtle and not so subtle moments. At times you have to look closely into her eyes to figure out what the character is feeling, other times it's displayed in her every expression and gesture.I really am a tough critic most of the time, but I was just so surprised by this film that it sold me. I love it. I won't recommend it to all my friends because it is a film for people who love film and don't just want to see car chaises and sex scenes.
I was a little apprehensive going into this movie as Matthew Perry has not had much luck choosing successful films. While his television career has been critically successful with friends and studio 60, he is usually a victim of poor writing. In truth, although he will always be "Chandler Bing" as will the rest of the Friends crew, he does have talent for the dramatic. This is shown in "Birds of America" Being a future independent filmmaker, I chose to enter this movie with loosening my predisposed judgements and this helped me find the depth in the film. When watching <more>
independent cinema, you must always expect the unexpected and allow yourself to think outside the box.This film was significant as it dealt with the importance of family connection and being true to oneself. As well, it brings out the question "Is honesty always right". This has been a topic that has been debated for years. Honesty has always been thought of as a necessity, but what happens when it takes precedence to kindness? This is all dealt with during the film.In terms of the performances, I believe that the two strongest links in this film were Ginnifer Goodwin and Ben Foster as the "problem" siblings. Ginnifer Goodwin's mannerisms and subtle facial expressions really captivate the screen and for me, although Matthew Perry's character is considered the father figure in the story, she really is the central link of the sibling connection. Ben Foster was great as well. It's refreshing to see that some people in Hollywood are not encapsulated by money and fame and are just in acting for the material. Matthew Perry was very good as the older brother /father figure, but I found my attention drifting to the other characters performances when he was sharing scenes. Finally, Lauren Graham, who is also very talented and needs to make wiser choices than "Evan Almighty", was great as the desperate wife trying to get her husband to have a baby with her. In one scene, she makes washing clothes seem like such a luxury and with her subtle nuances, makes the audience truly feel for her.I thought the film was very good, but there were some slip ups. First off, Hilary Swank was wasted playing a stepford-wife type, which truth be told, could have been played by anyone. She is far better than that role. As well, although somewhat important to the theme of the film, I found the feces aspect of the film rather distracting and with exception to one humorous scene, took away from the storyline.It sometime amazes me that cinematography can be far superior in films with independent budgets. I really appreciate the "nature aspect that the cinematographer incorporated into the setting and I found that it really highlighted the themes of kindness and connection. The only complaint I have about the cinematography and lighting is that some scenes were very dark and it was difficult to truly connect with those scenes.All in all, it was a very good movie and I recommend it as a "lazy Sunday afternoon" type movie