Friday, March 21, 2014

CIFF: "A Birder's Guide to Everything" is an Adventurous Flight

A Birder's Guide to Everything
is a wonderful adventure about what it means to be a teenager, while also coping with grief and change. It’s all seen through a pair of binoculars held by David (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a young birder who thinks he's spotted a long-thought-extinct duck species.

On the eve of his father's wedding to another woman following his mother's recent death, David embarks on a journey with his friends Timmy and Peter — all three of which are the only members of the Young Birder's Society at their high school — and classmate Ellen to find the duck. The relationship between the three friends is so authentic, with Timmy playing the wise-guy jokester and Peter the rule-abiding man to counterbalance David's thoughtful and introspective reserved nature. Ellen, who is tagging along to snap a photo of the duck, quickly fits right into the gang.

The movie is warm and really funny and features a guest appearance by British actor Ben Kingsley as a seasoned birder who knew David's mother — a birder herself. Shot mostly outdoors in upstate New York, the film serves as a beautiful love letter to nature and birders everywhere.

The Cleveland International Film Festival runs through March 30 at Tower City Cinemas. To browse the schedule, visit Although there are no more screenings at this year’s festival, A Birder’s Guide to Everything is available to rent or buy on iTunes.

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