Birds of America

Wes Anderson movies are the quintessential expression of everything white.  The characters are tennis players, oceanographers, playwrights, psychiatrists, anthropologists, prep school students and other characteristically “white” jobs.  More then that, they are all sissies and have emotional problems and dress in goofy bright colors.  Yet it’s okay because Wes Anderson’s movies are magnificent.  Now there is a new film in much of the same vein, just less painfully white.

Starting this October 21st, now available on DVD from Plum Pictures and First Look Studios comes the hilarious and touching movie all about families and the bonds they have.  Birds Of America is ready to fly out of your television screen and take roost in your mind and in your heart.  Bring home this fantastic independent film which will forever change the way you view families.

Matthew Perry stars as Morrie, an uptight oldest sibling who can’t go to the bathroom.  His brother Jay was run over by a car and is homeless, so Morrie and his wife Betty decide to let him stay at their house.  Then his sister Ida stops by to stay and things get complex.  They have to deal with their feelings for each other, Morrie’s annoying neighbors and his career.  It all comes together to form a transformative story of the importance of family.

The special features included in this DVD are surround sound, English and Spanish subtitles and previews of some of the other fantastic movies coming out soon from First Look Studios.

This movie reminded me a lot of The Royal Tenenbaums, my all-time favorite movie.  It’s more realistic and ultimately more serious than a Wes Anderson film and it shines all the brighter for it.  Matthew Perry is magnificent on a level I haven’t seen since the first couple seasons of Friends.  Lauren Graham is, as usual, a completely capable actor and overwhelmingly beautiful.  Hilary Swank nearly steals the show as the uptight and unknowingly condescending neighbor, but the real star of this film is Ben Foster.  He plays Jay, the mentally ill and aimless younger brother.  He starts out as comic relief, almost more of a foil for Perry’s character than anything else, but blossoms wonderfully as the movie progresses.  He doesn’t fall into stereotypes, but presents a compelling vision of a wounded and sensitive man learning to live again.  This movie was magnificent, both hilarious and sincerely touching.  I recommend it without reservation.

This one’s for everyone, not just the Birds.

This DVD is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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