Dave is down. His wife lives in Washington, D.C.; his restaurant, the Auk, in an out-of-the-way Newfoundland inlet, is a bust; a drink is rarely out of reach. An odd-duck of a neighbor, Phonce, who has found ten kilos of cocaine and wants Dave's help selling it, contrives to keep Dave in town by faking and reporting the sighting of a rare bird. Soon birders descend from everywhere, and the restaurant is a success. Dave is snorting the cocaine and falling for a young visitor who helps him out at the Auk, Phonce is launching his recreational submarine, and various men who don't look like birders are poking about. When the chickens come home to roost, will Dave and Phonse have a Plan B? Written by
Director Sturla Gunnarsson did not cast all of the smaller parts, but filled them with interesting characters he encountered during shooting. Barry Newhook, who was a grip for the film, played the role of a hostage, as well as the voice of a caller to a radio show. See more »
Level of wine glass when Dave and Phonse are eating in the kitchen. See more »
There's a phone booth down by the baseball diamond. Now nobody will see you there and it's nice and quiet.
Why can't we make the phone call from here?
Because, sir, we've got to cover our backs. Alright, Dave? They've probably got some sort of a call-tracing mechanism down at the CBC just in case some lunatic calls in and says he's planning on skullfucking the premier.
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Much commentary I have read on this film compares it to "The Shipping News" because it is set in Newfoundland. I would like to stress, however, that this movie is in no other way like "The Shipping News". Thank goodness. "Rare Birds" tells the story of Dave, a struggling restaurant owner who is recently separated from his wife. In order to boost Dave's spirits, and his business fortunes, his crackpot friend Alphonse (or "'Phonse") cooks up a scheme to lure bird watchers to the area. Meanwhile, Dave begins to fall in love with 'Phonse's sister-in-law. This is a charming film due in part to the beautiful scenery of the Newfoundland coast (which was so drearily washed-out in "The Shipping News"). The real gem of this film, however, is Dave's friend, 'Phonse, the inventor who sees conspiracies everywhere and always makes sure to have a "Plan B". I definitely recommend this film for some light, entertaining fare. I gave it a 7.
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