Rare Birds (2001)

STURLA GUNNARSSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBBCanada, 2001.  Big Pictures Entertainment, Pope Productions, Rare Productions Ltd..  Screenplay by , based on his novel.  Cinematography by Produced by , . Music by . Production Design by .   Costume Design by .    Film Editing by .  

With his estranged wife () far away and his business dwindling,  decides to sell his languishing Newfoundland restaurant until his buddy  comes up with a brilliant plan:  why not call into a radio show that caters to bird watchers and pretend to have seen a very rare species of duck that enthusiasts have been looking for? The plan works and soon their little town is overcrowded with birders, all of whom need a place to eat in between the hours spent on the rocky shores of Canada’s gorgeous east coast island looking for the star of their nature show. Meanwhile, Hurt becomes enamoured of Jones’s visiting sister-in-law (), who agrees to help serve people at the restaurant when the crowds get to be too much for one man to handle. Lovely photography and delightful characters, strong direction and a rich sense of humour make for a film treat; it never takes itself too seriously, but also isn’t light enough to be worthless fluff either. Even Hurt’s Newfie accent, which tends to be too Irish to be genuine, doesn’t get in the way of the fun.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2001

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