Bird People


Drama / Fantasy / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 40%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 3082

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 31, 2021 at 09:21 PM



Clark Johnson as McCullan
Mathieu Amalric as Le narrateur
Josh Charles as Gary Newman
1.15 GB
fre 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 8 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 5 / 10

huh? kinda interesting

Gary Newman (Josh Charles) is a Silicon valley engineer in Paris for business. Audrey Camuzet (Anaïs Demoustier) is an University student working as a maid in an airport Hilton where Gary is staying at. Gary has a breakdown. He skips his flight out and resigns from work angering his business partner. He's also leaving his wife Elisabeth (Radha Mitchell) and kids. Then an extraordinary transformation happens to Audrey.

First of all, this needs to be condensed. Parts of this is as compelling as watching surveillance video. I'm not advocating rushing this but it needs to be faster than a meditation. It's also static at times. Gary's confrontation with his wife is visually static but it is filled with tension. That's not always the case. This movie often lacks tension. There is a big change in the second half of the movie. It's a head scratcher. While it's interesting, I wonder what's the point. It lacks direction and it's also very odd that Gary is rarely in the second half. There is only one scene where there is any tension in that second half and that cat really scared me for a second. I doubt that I could recommend this to anyone but at least, it does something different.

Reviewed by howard.schumann 9 / 10

Bird People Soars

In a letter to Lou Andreas-Salome, the German Poet Rilke wrote, "The bird is a creature that has a very special feeling of trust in the external world, as if she knew that she is one with its deepest mystery." Using magic realism together with impressive camera work and CGI effects, Bird People reflects that mystery and turns it into a persuasive allegory of transformation. Directed by Pascale Ferran (Lady Chatterley) from a screenplay by Guillaume Bréaud, the film not only observes the alienation that exists in modern society, but goes beyond that to challenge our comfort level and glimpse what is possible.

Bird People depicts the lives of two very different people, Audrey (Anaïs Demoustier, The New Girlfriend), a maid at the Paris Hilton hotel in Paris close to the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and Gary Newman (Josh Charles, The Good Wife), a Silicon Valley engineer who is stopping overnight at the same hotel for a business conference en route to Dubai. Though they exist in totally different worlds, they are both stuck in life situations that are far from being nurturing. Neither can see a way out, until they do. As the film opens, the camera randomly peeks into the mind of travelers walking through airport terminals, riding on a commuter train or bus, enmeshed in their own world of smartphones, headphones, or simply daydreams.

There are no artistic or poetic visions in their thoughts, only internal conversations about appointments to keep, files to download, what to make for dinner, and other day-to-day minutia. Reminiscent of the Norwegian film, Oslo, August 31st, the people in the prologue have nothing to do with the stories that follow, but suggest that the difference is only in the level of awareness. Narrated by Mathieu Amalric who makes only a brief appearance in the film, the first hour concentrates on Gary (Charles), in Paris overnight and scheduled to leave the next day for Dubai. After experiencing a serious anxiety attack during the night, he makes some life-altering decisions the next morning.

Though his decisions appear to be impulsive, Gary tells others that he had thought about it for a long time. In a sudden one broom sweeps all move, he decides not to make the flight to Dubai, quits his job to the dismay of his business associates, and sells his stock to his partners. As if that wasn't enough housecleaning for one day, he tells his wife (Radha Mitchell, Silent Hill) that he is leaving her and the children, seemingly with little concern for their emotional consequences, though Ferran does not judge his actions, but simply records them. This "breakup" occurs in a face-to-face encounter during a stretched-out fifteen-minute Skype call, a process that is emotionally draining both for the characters and the viewer.

When pressed for a reason for his action, all he can come up with is that he "can't take it any longer" and has "had enough." Looking depressed and disheveled without any plans for the future, we fear for his life but Gary isn't ready to take any irrevocable steps of that nature, content to free himself only of his worldly responsibilities. Fortunately, the mood shifts as the second hour focuses on Audrey, a housekeeper at the hotel, as she goes about her routine of meticulously cleaning each room. Though in outward appearance, she is cheerful, there is a hint of an inescapable boredom and ennui in her life. Her only contact with people is to listen in on hallway conversations and sift through a guest's belongings in their room looking for a connection or an insight into who they are.

Peering into the windows of apartments across the courtyard with people living disconnected lives, she is again reminded of her sense of separation. What transpires, however, has nothing to do with her job, her family, or friends. It is a lovely flight of fancy that is too enchanting to reveal but includes an inspired Japanese artist, Audrey's discovery of a personal matter concerning the hotel concierge, all this amidst swooping aerial camera shots that lift the film from the stuffy hotel rooms and let it breathe. The trajectory of the film mirrors the words of the German poet Rilke, "If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only that there be flying." In that regard, Bird People soars.

Reviewed by maurice_yacowar 9 / 10

American engineer and Paris hotel maid escape their mundane lives, maybe even together.

Like her 2006 adaptation, Lady Chatterly, Pascale Ferran's Bird People celebrates the expansiveness of the human spirit. Here it's expressed in the need for non-carnal freedom, through the specific metaphor of flying.

The opening montage in the Charles de Gaulle airport surveys a large number of people between flights, rushing helter skelter ground bound. They seem constrained, locked in patterns, in a word, caged even as they roam. A later montage shows the airport at night, still, vacated but for a strew of bodies asleep. Awake or sleeping the people bound to their daily regimens are cut off from the free range of their spirits and imagination. From that crowd two characters emerge to take flight.

Gary Newman is the American in Paris, a Silicon Valley engineer there for a business meeting en route to a major project in Dubai. Gary is at a midway station (c'est la gare) in his life; an anxiety attack (angoisse) persuades him to become a New Man. He quits his job and abandons his wife and kids. By skipping his plane to Dubai and holing up at the airport Hilton he takes flight from all his responsibilities. Actor Josh Charles has a bird-like mien, especially in our first view, with his beak, furrowed brow and pursed lips. He imagines a bird's eye view of his rejected landing and reception at Dubai.

In the hotel restaurant a piano is computer-rigged to play its keys without a pianist. The modern machinery continues without the original human engagement. Newman is confident his company and his family will carry on without him so he flies their respective coops. He breaks up with his wife through another magical technology. Skype allows a vivid, extended face-to-face discussion though an ocean apart. The dynamic reverses their usual discussions, where their physical closeness failed to bridge the growing abyss between them. Ferran encourages us to approve Newman's clearly selfish declaration of potentially destructive independence. (To me his unforgivable irresponsibility was his tapping of the hotel mini-bar, not just the overpriced booze and chips but those little bottles of water! Damn, that hurt. True, when he sells his partners his company shares he will be able to support his ex-family and pay the Hilton tab, but still….)

Hotel maid Audrey is oppressed by her job and its encroachment upon her university studies. Like Newman, she needs air; both open windows immediately upon entering a room. In the wake of a relationship she lives a solitary life. Her sense of people living encaged is suggested when she peers across the courtyard at the apartment dwellers living their separate lives in a row (shades of Rear Window).

Though (or because?) she lacks Newman's wealth, station and responsibilities Audrey discovers a magical power. She turns into a sparrow and flies all over the place. She learns how the polished hotel clerk Simon lives (sleeping in his car), gets a closer view of the other people in their cages and feels the exhilaration of soaring beyond her normal physical limits. The magic stays realistic: she also learns the bird's urgent feeling of hunger and the existential threat from wind, cat, owl, traffic and locked stuffy room.

Both as woman and as bird Audrey glimpses a touching alternative to the Newman marriage, an elderly woman waiting for her old husband to join her in a still juicy love. That injects a romantic possibility into the film's last shot. Audrey and Newman finally meet and after parting return to introduce themselves and shake hands. They have discussed a verbal paradox: "personne" carries the contrary meanings of person and nobody. They consider the words that are contrary to "contrary." They may find the ultimate romantic paradox: the greatest freedom can be found in a connection. Prefiguring that union, the Japanese artist saves bird Audrey from starving by giving her some chips and the woman by finding her unconscious and bringing her to a recuperating sleep in his room. His drawings of the bird prove her flight happened.

This delightful fable takes wing from yet another miraculous technology: the personification of sparrow Audrey. That also reminds us how we're more richly endowed than ever with the potential of imaginative flight. In the flesh or in our fancy we can escape our lives of quiet desperation.

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