sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 23, 2020

sweet movie recommendation
posted by soe 9:44 am

It really helps when you hit publish after writing a post…

While I sometimes share movie recommendations that I adore, I don’t often pass along tips for movies I see that I like.

Last night we watched The Big Year, which came out nearly a decade ago. The movie stars Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin as three avid birders, attempting to break the record for how many birds they can see in the U.S. over the course of a year. It also includes John Cleese as our David Attenborough-esque narrator.

I grabbed the movie back in March as the library was getting ready to shut down for the pandemic, desperately looking for something that wouldn’t be terrible to watch. But I was hesitant. Each of these actors is perfectly capable of greatness, but they also have a reputation for going over the top in some roles, which tend to leave me feeling detached from their movies.

I’m pleased to report that The Big Year is not one of those films. Each of the actors does a good job with his role — Wilson as the current record holder who has promised his wife that they can start a family, Martin as a retiring CEO whose wife sends him off to pursue his big dream, and Black as a divorced, mid-career programmer with modest savings and a father and boss who neither understand nor especially support his passion project.

The movie follows the men (and the cast of characters they meet again and again) over the course of a year as they range from a barely accessible outpost on an Alaska island to the coast of Texas after a hurricane with brief stops back home to sort out what’s going on there.

I recommend you look for The Big Year wherever you watch older movies.

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