MOVIE REVIEW | ***FOREIGN LANGUAGE WEEKEND*** Bird People (2014)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “As nauseatingly whimsical as the French tend to be.”

Bird 1.jpg
The main reason I started this blog was to make me watch more movies, and to vary the kinds of movies I watched. The first part of that has been well and truly accomplished with me watching hundreds of movies for the first time, instead of falling back on old favourites over and over again.   But l’m not sure if I’ve varied my selections enough. I still watch mainly American movies, with directors, writers and actors that make them a pretty safe bet. So this year, I’m forcing myself to seek out more international movies. With Foreign Language Weekends, every weekend(ish) during 2016, I’ll review two(ish) non-English language movies.

“Everything OK, sir???

Dissatisfied rich people, sad sacking it around while they’re depressed about their many possessions and loved ones not bringing them any fulfilment is a movie trope that never needs to be used again.  I guess because anyone with any real success in the movie business is going to have a certain amount of material wealth, it’s just writers and directors making movies with entitled rich people problems they can relate to, even if it’s foreign to the average viewer.

The only way to make a trope like this even more unbearable, would be to add a precious French twist on top.  Had I known that either of these personal pet peeves were a possibility with Bird People, I would have steered way clear.  But like so many of these foreign movie experiments this year, I went in blind.  And, for what I think might be the first time, that blindness led me into a big ol’ pile of pretentious, naval gazing shit.

After a boring business meeting in Paris, Gary Newman (Josh Charles) is supposed to be on a plane the next day for another business meeting in Dubai.  His hangdog expression and blasé view of the beautiful city make it obvious that Paris wasn’t the first mundane work assignment in an exotic city, and that Dubai won’t be the last.  After a sleepless night and borderline anxiety attack, Gary deliberately misses his flight out, and lets his business partners and wife know that he has no intention of coming back to his apparently oppressive (but in reality very enviable) life anytime soon.

Working in the hotel where Gary is staying, is maid Audrey Camuzet (Anais Demoustier).  She has her own dissatisfaction to live with, although, hers is a little more justified than Gary’s.  Every day, she cleans the same rooms the same way.  But when it’s time for Audrey to find an escape, the movie takes on a much more fantastical method than Gary’s simple abandonment of his life and responsibilities.
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I don’t what to say any more about Audrey’s story, because while it’s as nauseatingly whimsical as the French tend to be (see also mime), it was the one surprising, and almost entertaining portion of Bird People.  So if anyone is unfortunate enough to find themselves watching this movie, I’d hate to take that one, small, positive aspect away from them.

Bird People
Directed By – Pascale Ferran
Written By – Guillaume Bréaud, Pascale Ferran

Other Opinions Are Available.  What did these people have to say about Bird People?
Variety
rogerebert.com

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