20 user 11 critic

Birds of America (2008)

A regular guy struggles with a repressive home and professional life, as well as making amends for the trouble his free-spirited brother and sister cause about town.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Tanager
Ellen Thomas
Lindsay Allen ...
Roller-Blading Girl
Will Toale ...
Young Male Cop
Vivien Kells ...
Sleeping Girl (as Vivien Kells O'Brien)
Man in Street
Marisa Zalabak ...
Woman in Street


When Morrie was a teenager, his parents died, leaving him a house, an irritable bowel, and siblings Jay and Ida to raise. Jump ahead 20 years: Jay is homeless, fits poorly into society, and was recently injured; Ida is jobless and sleeps with strangers; Morrie is married to the long-suffering Betty who is waiting for Morrie to get tenure before having children. They constantly have to kiss up to their holier-than-thou neighbors, one of whom is Morrie's department head. Morrie brings Jay home to recover, Ida decides to visit, the siblings make the neighbors ill at ease, a strange woman visits, and the cops want to talk to Jay. What about Morrie's irritated bowels? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some families defy classification


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 February 2010 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Laws of Motion  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jay: People need to be jolted.
Morrie: No, people need to be comforted, and you don't comfort them by satisfying your own curiosity about breaking down boundaries and rules. Some people really like their rules, they've chosen them, and you don't get to choose what rules other people obey or not; they do.
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References Columbo (1971) See more »


Sad Song
Written and Performed by Fredo Viola
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User Reviews

genuine feeling film
18 January 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Honestly I found this movie to be a very enjoyable experience. The pacing was fantastic, the whole time I wanted a character to do this or that, but they didn't, so I'd get frustrated. But then a half hour later they'd do something twice as satisfying then what I had wanted them to do and with perfect timing. The movie starts off a little slow but let yourself get to know the characters, try to understand their points of view and guess how they became this way. By the end of the film everything is understood and it makes those first few scenes even better now that you understand why the characters where acting the way they were.

Elyse Friedman's writing feels genuine. The characters are rich, and the story plays out very well in getting to know those characters. At times you think you have one figured out and then you learn something new that changes who they are in your eyes. I love when a film can do that affectively and this one does. It feels like a character piece, but unlike most who overdo the story, this film is entertaining enough just getting to know the characters.

Craig Lucas does a great job directing the camera to support the performances. This film has a genuine indie feel. It's not forced it just fits.

The performances are also very appropriate for the feel of the film. Matthew Parry was a fantastic choice for his role. He acts by not overdoing it. He keeps his performance inside and in turn it seems more real on the outside. Ben Foster is perfect. He nails the character in a way that few actors could have pulled it off. He makes me want to meet Jay and have a conversation with him. I want to hang out with him and ask him about his perspectives on life. Lastly but certainly not least, was Ginnifer Goodwin. I want you Ginnifer, I want you so bad. She delivers a performance that is fantastic in its combination of both subtle and not so subtle moments. At times you have to look closely into her eyes to figure out what the character is feeling, other times it's displayed in her every expression and gesture.

I really am a tough critic most of the time, but I was just so surprised by this film that it sold me. I love it. I won't recommend it to all my friends because it is a film for people who love film and don't just want to see car chaises and sex scenes.

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