The Big Year

"OK"

The Big Year Review


Even though it's rather corny and sentimental, this colourful comedy-drama holds our interest mainly because it's about a subject we'd never imagine watching a film about.

Brad (Black) is a birdwatcher who decides to do a Big Year, seeing as many birds as possible in 12 months, while holding down a full-time job and borrowing against his credit cards. Jetting around the country for rare spottings, he comes up against his record-holding nemesis Kenny (Wilson) as well as Stu (Martin), a corporate big-wig who has taken a year off work to follow his dream. But will their obsession with birding cause problems in their private lives?

The film has a goofy, humorous tone from the start that lets the three central actors get away with rather broad performances that occasionally drift into slapstick. But each one also has a more serious side to his journey, as Brad tries to earn the respect of his dad (Dennehy) and catch the eye of a sexy birder (Jones), Stu makes some important decisions about his future with his loyal wife (Williams), and Kenny tries to help his wife (Pike) conceive a child but keeps getting distracted by his quest to hold onto his record.

Some dark sideplots along the way help overcome the sillier moments. And they also make sure that we don't get bored, because frankly these obsessive nerds are rather ridiculous as they spend vast sums of money chasing elusive birds all over North America just so they can have the satisfaction of being named in the annual Big Year list. It's doesn't much more interesting than trainspotting, really, but at least they get to be outdoors in spectacular scenery most of the time.

Director Frankel makes the most of the settings, capturing the raw natural beauty of each landscape and the sense of achievement when these guts spot another rare species. But of course, in order to turn this into a movie, the script has to crank up both the silly comedy and the sappy melodrama, and each gear-shift causes the movie to lurch awkwardly, reminding us just how dull this competition is for the rest of us.



The Big Year

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th October 2011

Box Office USA: $7.2M

Box Office Worldwide: 7

Budget: 41

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Deuce Three Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 61

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , , Jeffrey Harlacker, Karen Rosenfelt,

Starring: as Kenny Bostick, as Stu Preissler, as Brad Harris, as Ellie, as Crane, as Annie Auklet, as Fuchs, Kevin Pollak as Jim Gittelson, as Jessica, as Barry Loomis, as Brenda Harris, as Bill Clemont, as Raymond Harris, as Old Lady

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.