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Bluebird (I) (2013)

 |  Drama  |  27 February 2015 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 421 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 6 user | 28 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

In the frozen woods of an isolated Maine logging town, one woman's tragic mistake shatters the balance of the community, resulting in profound and unexpected consequences. Weaving together ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Amy Morton ...
Lesley
...
Richard
...
Marla
...
Paula
...
...
Brandon Wardwell ...
Brent
Patrick Murney ...
Wade
...
Charlotte
Quinn Bard ...
Owen
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David R. Buchstaber ...
Milton
Raymond Cote ...
Wades Friend
...
Kim
Joey Manning ...
Brent's Friend
Doreen R. Moody ...
Wanda
Edit

Storyline

In the frozen woods of an isolated Maine logging town, one woman's tragic mistake shatters the balance of the community, resulting in profound and unexpected consequences. Weaving together several connected story lines, BLUEBIRD explores the profound and transcendent effects of a tragedy on an isolated American town. Written by Anonymous

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27 February 2015 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
The subdued aura presents an Oscar-caliber turn by Amy Morton...

Debut writer/director Lance Edmands puts an admirable touch on his film Bluebird starring John Slattery and Amy Morton. The story and overall aura of the film feels more in line with films like Winter's Bone (2010) and The Sweet Hereafter (1997) but lacking the emotional punch needed to grab the audience fully. Ultimately the film explores many of its central characters in an interesting manner but leaves many questions unanswered and not in the indie-flair way that can still feel satisfying. It's the powerful performance of Amy Morton and the efforts of the rest of the cast that gives the film any lasting impression.

The film takes place in the frozen woods of a small Maine town. After Lesley (Morton) makes a tragic mistake that shatters the balance of the community, not even her husband Richard (Slattery) or her daughter Paula (Emily Meade), can rid her of the overbearing guilt that has taken over. As multiple stories take place including that of Marla (Louisa Krause), Crystal (Margo Martindale), and young Owen (Quinn Bard), all of their lives become connected in a way none of them could have imagined, perhaps forever.

Where Edmands succeeds brilliantly is in capturing the essence of a small, American town full of authentic and genuine characters that feel profoundly real. Working as an editor on Tiny Furniture (2010), the film that helped Hollywood discover HBO's "Girls" writer and star Lena Dunham, Edmands keeps a consistent tone that feels cold and convincing. However, the film never fully takes off for the emotional connection to fully take place with the central characters. The cinematography by Jody Lee Lipes creates a sensational atmosphere that falls in line with Debra Granik's Winter's Bone.

As aforementioned, Amy Morton is a true revelation, delivering her finest acting performance of her career. Morton, a wonderful character actress, is probably best remembered as Thomas Ian Nicholas' mother in the 90s hit Rookie of the Year (1993) and George Clooney's disgruntled sister in Up in the Air (2009). She manages to step into her own fierce abilities as an actress that feels much like Melissa Leo's Oscar- nominated turn in Frozen River (2008). Morton is aware of her surroundings but she gets completely lost in Lesley and becomes the epicenter of sentiment. She's best-in-show and the main take away for the film's slow roast to a finale that feels unsettled and unfocused.

Slattery takes a full swing at the ball but ultimately comes up short due to being overshadowed by his co-star and having a character to portray that the audience never fully understands. Great actors like Margo Martindale and Adam Driver are fine but completely wasted and don't have enough to contribute. As Marla, Louisa Krause has the most controversial player to represent but doesn't manage to get to the next level of ferocity. Played somewhat like Naomi Watts in 21 Grams (2003), the character begins to build but fails to emote a trait that feels believable. Granted, the character is meant to be hated and completely unsympathetic but the screenplay lacks insight into the motivation behind her point of view.

If anyone enjoys a leisured look into an American town where emotions are not expressed except in tears and faces, Bluebird might work for many. Losing steam in the middle, the film never fully recovers and leaves you ultimately unsatisfied.

Oscar CHANCES: Amy Morton for Lead Actress

Read More at The Awards Circuit (http://www.awardscircuit.com)


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