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3 items from 2006


Strand tethered to quirky 'Hawk'

14 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TORONTO -- Strand Releasing has nabbed all North American rights to Julian Goldberger's The Hawk Is Dying, starring Paul Giamatti, Michelle Williams and Michael Pitt. The film, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and was a selection for the Directors' Fortnight sidebar at May's Festival de Cannes, is slated for a platform release in the spring. In the quirky drama from Antidote Films, Oscar nominee Giamatti (Sideways) stars as a Florida auto upholsterer who attempts to liven up his humdrum life by taming a wild hawk. He lives with an overweight sister (Ann Wedgeworth) and an autistic nephew (Pitt) and gets involved with an on-again/off-again girlfriend (Williams) who might be involved in the death of one of the characters. »

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Strand tethered to quirky 'Hawk'

14 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TORONTO -- Strand Releasing has nabbed all North American rights to Julian Goldberger's The Hawk Is Dying, starring Paul Giamatti, Michelle Williams and Michael Pitt. The film, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and was a selection for the Directors' Fortnight sidebar at May's Festival de Cannes, is slated for a platform release in the spring. In the quirky drama from Antidote Films, Oscar nominee Giamatti (Sideways) stars as a Florida auto upholsterer who attempts to liven up his humdrum life by taming a wild hawk. He lives with an overweight sister (Ann Wedgeworth) and an autistic nephew (Pitt) and gets involved with an on-again/off-again girlfriend (Williams) who might be involved in the death of one of the characters. »

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Hawk is Dying

25 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

PARK CITY - Based on a 1973 novel by Southern writer Harry Crews, "The Hawk Is Dying" hopefully made more sense as a book than it does as a movie. Loaded with obtuse symbolism, the film is not only hard to understand, it isn't much fun trying to figure it out. Aside from devotees of the novel, commercial prospects for this literary effort are very slim.

Strong cast, top-lined by Paul Giamatti, is largely wasted on questionable material, written and directed by Julian Goldberger. Giamatti plays George Gattling, a Gainesville, Fla. owner of a car upholstery shop whose passion in life is capturing hawks in the wild and training them. Unfortunately, he hasn't had much luck and his earlier birds have died on him.

George lives with his obese sister (Ann Wedgeworth) and his mentally challenged nephew Fred Michael Pitt). With Fred's help, George traps a unique red-tailed hawk in a last ditch attempt to save his manhood and redeem himself, or something like that. But more misfortune befalls him when Fred drowns in his waterbed. This is tragic, not funny, and George goes on a rampage trying to train the bird.

Also involved in this mess is his sometime girlfriend Betty (Michelle Williams), who may or may not have been responsible for Fred's death. It's all murky and fraught with angst. In any case, George goes on a fast until he can get the hawk to eat, and as you might imagine, he has some pretty strange visions after going five days without food. Fred appears and tells him cryptically, "You never have", to which George responds, "No, I never have". And if you can make head or tale of that, this is your kind of movie.

The film, nicely shot by Bobby Bukowski, does have its moments of visual splendor in the fields of Florida, and some of the bird behavior is fascinating. And it is interesting to watch a huffing and puffing Giamatti work in high gear-to a point. Williams does her usual stellar work, as well, if only her character were not so enigmatic. Presumably, this all worked better on the page than it does on the screen.

THE HAWK IS DYING

Antidote Films

This Is That Productions

Credits:

Director: Julian Goldberger, based on the novel by Harry Crews

Writer: Goldberger

Producers: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Mary Jane Skalski

Executive producers: Ted Hope, Corbin Day, Jeanne Levy-Hinte

Director of photography: Bobby Bukowski

Production designer: Judy Becker

Music: Jonathan Goldberger

Costume designer: April Napier

Editor: Affonso Goncalves.

Cast:

George Gattling: Paul Giamatti

Betty: Michelle Williams

Fred: Michael Pitt

Billy Bob: Robert Wisdom

Precious: Rusty Schwimmer

Ma Gattling: Ann Wedgeworth

No MPAA Rating »

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3 items from 2006


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