A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for ... See full summary »
Philly boys Al and Birdy became friends in high school despite the extreme difference in their personalities, Al being the popular and athletic extrovert, Birdy the antisocial "weird" introvert. Al gave Birdy his nickname because of his fascination - obsession really - with birds, especially with flight. Al and Birdy have just completed their service of duty in the Vietnam War and have returned to the States. Al sustained some serious physical injuries, which required major reconstructive surgery to his face. Birdy, however, returned from Vietnam seemingly emotionally scarred. He was missing in action for one month. He has not spoken since he was found. Despite his own medical issues, Al travels to the institution where Birdy is being kept to see if he can assist in getting Birdy out of his near comatose state. Having always had issues with authority, Al is less than forthright with the doctors about Birdy's mental state prior to the war. As Al tries whatever he can to help Birdy ... Written by
Details about the film's source William Wharton novel have been summarized by Wikipedia which states "Birdy is the debut novel of William Wharton, who was more than 50 years old when it was published. It won the U.S. National Book Award in category First Novel. Birdy was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1980, ultimately losing to The Executioner's Song (1982) by Norman Mailer". See more »
If ever I needed convincing that Nicholas Cage is a great actor and human being, it is in this role and the brilliant performance of Birdie himself. If ever good can be portrayed as coming out of bad, it is the deeply moving message and point of making a movie like this. Who needs convincing that war is evil, that life is cruel and that love conquers all its madness? Who can even begin to understand the torment of post-traumatic stress? Those who perpetrate suffering not only to humans but animals alike can never have the empathy that defines us as human. On many levels, the story and how it is told, speaks to the heart and we weep in sympathy for the pain of those who suffer whether from mental illness, bullying or the unspeakable abuses of war. Where have all the great movie makers like Alan Parker gone? There is nothing but fake, shallow and profit orientated products that mirror the fake, shallow and insecure "virtual" relating that goes on today. For that I weep. It has created a hunger deeper than that suffered from starving Biafra.
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