6.2/10
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130 user 105 critic

The Big Year (2011)

PG | | Comedy | 14 October 2011 (USA)
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1:54 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Two bird enthusiasts try to defeat the cocky, cutthroat world record holder in a year-long bird-spotting competition.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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4,653 ( 1,862)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Historical Montage Narrator (voice)
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Greg Kean ...
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Birder's Daughter (as Eva Allan)
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Storyline

In birding, a Big Year is seeing or hearing as many different species of birds as possible in a calendar year. Three men pursue the Birder of the Year title: Kenny Bostick, who's seen a record 732 in a past big year, Stu Preissler, newly retired, and Brad Harris, who narrates the story. Life gets in the way: Bostick's wife wants a baby, Stu's firm needs him for sensitive negotiations, and Brad, divorced and underemployed at 36, has an encouraging mom and a disapproving dad. They criss-cross the continent (including a trip to Alaska's westernmost island), follow migration patterns, and head for storms that force birds to ground. Who will win, at what cost, and with what rewards? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

14 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Grande Ano  »

Box Office

Budget:

$41,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,251,884 (USA) (14 October 2011)

Gross:

$7,204,138 (USA) (16 December 2011)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Parsons plays an avid bird blogger in the film. His character on The Big Bang Theory has a serious phobia of birds. See more »

Goofs

Attu island is not closer to Tokyo than Anchorage. Anchorage is 1440 miles from the island, Tokyo is closer to 2000 miles away. See more »

Quotes

Stu Preissler: [Sitting in a bar] Bostick saw snowcocks.
Brad Harris: I can't afford snowcocks.
Stu Preissler: Snowcocks are on me.
Brad Harris: I can't even afford this beer.
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Crazy Credits

During the end credits, photos of every bird found by the winner are shown. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.13 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Minor Swing
Written by Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt
Performed by Django Reinhardt
Courtesy of Bluebird/RCA Victor
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Big Year has Big Laughs and Touching Moments
14 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the Big Year, bird-watching ("birding" for those serious about the activity) takes a beautiful backdrop to the story of three men in different stages of life that are all struggling with priorities and what is important in life. Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson all do a great job as lead actors and come across as real bird lovers.

The settings are incredible - taking viewers from Attu Island in the Aleutians to Brownsville, Texas, and everywhere in between. The race to find birds results in many humorous moments between the three competitors as they scour North America in search of rare bird sightings and compete to be the world's best birder.

Steve Martin does a wonderful job as a man on the verge of retirement, who is struggling to let go of his career. His long-time dream to spend a year birding helps him understand what is important in life. Steve's character develops a father-like relationship with Jack Black's aimless computer programmer whose passion is birds. Steve's character provides fatherly guidance and support that helps Jack Black's character move forward with his life and relationships.

Owen Wilson is great as the obsessed world's greatest birder, who does everything that he can to stop his challengers - Steve Martin & Jack Black. The obsession and drive of Owen's character draws anger, jealousy, and respect from his competitors and other birders. Several supporting actors providing some funny moments with their hatred of Owen.

Overall, Big Year is a funny and heart-warming movie that will make you think about your own priorities and dreams...and maybe grab some binoculars and search out some birds.


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