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A Bird of the Air (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 23 September 2011 (USA)
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A man in search of his past, and a woman who lives in the moment, are brought together when they pursue the origins of a stray parrot in this comedic and romantic drama.

Director:

Margaret Whitton

Writers:

Roger Towne (screenplay), Joe Coomer (novel)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel Nichols ... Fiona
Jackson Hurst ... Lyman
Anjanette Comer ... Mrs. Weber
Linda Emond ... Margie
Buck Henry ... Duncan Weber
Judith Ivey ... Eleanor Reeves
Erik Jensen ... Bearded Man
Kaiulani Lee Kaiulani Lee ... Mrs. Blair
Matte Osian ... Trucker
Rocco Sisto ... Security Guard
Phyllis Somerville ... Ivy Campbell
Louis Zorich ... Stowalski
Jessamyn Blakeslee Jessamyn Blakeslee ... Woman Crash Victim
Gary Farmer ... Charles Ballard
Carrie Fleming Carrie Fleming ... Reference Librarian
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Storyline

A sassy parrot and a free-spirited librarian upend the well-ordered life of a solitary man. Lyman (Jackson Hurst) is a loner, working the graveyard shift for the Courtesy Patrol. Orphaned by a car wreck that killed his parents when he was four years old, he knows only his last name and approximate year of birth. When a green parrot flies in to his trailer and announces, 'Shut up!" and "I'm an eagle!" he becomes obsessed with finding its owner, which leads him to FIONA (Rachel Nichols). She has been eying Lyman from a distance and decides to help with his parrot search, whether he wants her to or not. Along with her basset hound, they set out on a quest to find the bird's previous owners and Fiona begins to unravel the mysteries of Lyman's past. But when Fiona joins Lyman on his nightly rounds, she witnesses a reality more intense than the romantic version she had envisioned. Ultimately, once Lyman is able to reconcile with is past, he is able to break free of his dark world and they ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Boy meets parrot meets girl.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and accident images

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Loop See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,819, 25 September 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,819, 25 September 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tashtego Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based in New Mexico. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Margie: Upside down people, the graveyard shift. Whatever you call us. We're the ones working at night while you sleep. We look out for each other. Or, I looked out for Lyman, and he looked out for everyone else. But off the road he thought everyone else had read the big instruction manual. Lyman wasn't gonna talk until he had it all figured out. Riding that highway loop night after night was the only job he'd ever had, unless you count all the classes he took at the Community College. Oh ...
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Soundtracks

Los Hijos De Dona Meche
Written by R. Gonzalez & L. Garzon
Performed by Los Cubaztecas
Courtesy of LoveCat Music
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User Reviews

Excellent adaptation; worth seeking out
14 September 2011 | by lor_See all my reviews

Character actress turned filmmaker Margaret Whitton demonstrates real directorial savvy with A BIRD OF THE AIR, an appealing dramedy adapted by Roger Towne ("The Natural") from Joe Coomer's 1992 novel THE LOOP. Indie production may be low-profile amongst the high-concept Hollywood product out there, but is a highly recommended movie.

Originally optioned by Oprah and later acquired by Matthew McConaughey as a vehicle for himself and post-SAHARA (but pre-Oscar) Penelope Cruz, Whitton's eventual version benefits from casting unknown leads.

Jackson Hurst toplines as Lyman, a handsome introvert with zero social skills, whose job is cleaning up the interstate in rural New Mexico by night, aiding stranded or injured motorists. A beautiful, flighty young librarian Fiona (winningly personified by Rachel Nichols) sets her romantic sights on Lyman, and a decidedly unconventional bond develops between the mismatched pair.

A couple of non-human characters balance and amplify the drama, as a parrot mysteriously flies into Lyman's trailer home one day, an aged, lost soul like our orphan hero. Fiona's basset hound is the other leading player, at first downright hostile to Lyman, but later helping to break down his protective shell.

Much of the narrative revolves around Lyman's quest to track down the previous owners of the parrot, while Fiona researches Lyman's own shady background. Director Whitton has cleverly distorted the voices of those owners to provide a voice for the humorously loquacious bird, whose pronouncements hint at the film's underlying themes.

Brief but telling character turns are provided by the succession of owners, all sympathetically acted by a diverse group of talents including Buck Henry, Judith Ivey and Phyllis Sommerville. Film buffs will also note a welcome (albeit fleeting) return to the screen by Anjanette Comer as Buck's wife. Also forceful in support is Linda Emond as a diner waitress who mothers Lyman and narrates the picture.

Flavorful but not showy lensing by Oscar-winner Philippe Rousselot is a plus, and the film remains offbeat without succumbing to the cutesy clichés that tempt so many indie efforts of late. Hurst is disarming as the central hunk, acting in a style reminiscent of early Harrison Ford (before he started taking himself a bit too seriously) and Nichols, in quite a turnabout after co-starring opposite CONAN THE BARBARIAN, is a radiant heroine.


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