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Little Birds
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Little Birds (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Little Birds -- Two teenage girls leave their sleepy lakeside town and follow a group of boys to Los Angeles.  One of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2012 as selected by The National Board Of Reviews
Little Birds -- Lily and Alison face a life-changing event after they leave their Salton Sea home and follow the boys they meet back to Los Angeles.


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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Elgin James (written by)
View company contact information for Little Birds on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 January 2016 (Japan) See more »
How far would you go?
Lily and Alison face a life-changing event after they leave their Salton Sea home and follow the boys they meet back to Los Angeles. | Full synopsis »
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Juno Temple and the trailer park See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order)

Juno Temple ... Lily Hobart

Kay Panabaker ... Alison Hoffman

Kate Bosworth ... Bonnie Muller

Neal McDonough ... Hogan

David Warshofsky ... Joseph Hoffman

Leslie Mann ... Margaret Hobart
Bob Larkin ... Mr. Kovacs

Kathleen Gati ... Sally Heron

Scotty Noyd Jr. ... Ray Cawley

Kyle Gallner ... Jesse MacNamara

Carlos PenaVega ... Louis Estes (as Carlos Pena)

Chris Coy ... David Riley

Lauren Pennington ... Shawna Cawley (as Lauren Whitney Pennington)

Lydia Blanco Garza ... Female Cashier (as Lydia Blanco)
Marc Rose ... Man
Jamie Patricof ... Passerby
Mindy Vela-Henderson ... Realtor

Katie Nehra ... Realtor Assistant

Joel McKinnon Miller ... Michael White

JR Bourne ... John Gretton

Mike Erwin ... Mark Muller
Erik Ellington ... Dealer
Elizabeth James ... LA Hipster Girl

Todd Fjelsted ... LA Hipster Boy
J.W. Buckley ... Skate Shop Owner
Chad Gilbert ... Guy with Drink
Gibby Miller ... Partygoer 1
Matthew Boettcher ... Partygoer 2
Chad Glissmeyer ... Partygoer 3
Chopper ... Himself
Jake Devine ... Salton Sea Skateboarder
George Hathaway ... Salton Sea Skateboarder
Jared Huss ... Salton Sea Skateboarder
Geoff Rowley ... Los Angeles Skateboarder
David Gonzalez ... Los Angeles Skateboarder
Rune Glifberg ... Los Angeles Skateboarder
Arto Saari ... Los Angeles Skateboarder
Ewan Bowman ... Los Angeles Skateboarder
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ryan O'Quinn ... Mark Lawrence (voice)
Mighty Swag ... Boy

Directed by
Elgin James 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Elgin James  written by

Produced by
Bobbie Blyle .... associate producer
Max Burger .... executive producer
Monique Burger .... executive producer
Joey Carey .... associate producer
Keith Fairclough .... co-producer
Pavlina Hatoupis .... co-producer
Kevin Iwashina .... executive producer
Katie McNeill .... associate producer
David Moore .... associate producer (as Dave Moore)
Stefan Nowicki .... executive producer
Jamie Patricof .... producer
Alan Polsky .... producer
Gabe Polsky .... producer
Adam Shott .... associate producer
Benjamin Weber .... associate producer
Pavlina Hatoupis .... line producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Elgin James 
Cinematography by
Reed Morano (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Suzanne Spangler 
Casting by
Wendy O'Brien 
Production Design by
Todd Fjelsted 
Art Direction by
J.B. Popplewell 
Set Decoration by
Rosie Sanders 
Costume Design by
Trayce Gigi Field  (as Trayce Field)
Makeup Department
Roxxi Dott .... hair department head
Lorraine Martin .... makeup department head
Lorraine Martin .... special makeup effects artist
Miko Nishida .... key hair stylist
Natalie Vermiglio .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Samantha Housman .... post-production supervisor
Daniela Roth .... unit production manager
Louise Runge .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Corbin Larson .... second second assistant director
Roman Salcedo .... second assistant director
Clenet Verdi-Rose .... first assistant director
Art Department
Nic Berlin .... props
Caity Birmingham .... set dresser
Matthew Derba .... leadman (as Matt Derba)
Carl Fieler .... swing
John Roberson .... swing
Ryan Watson .... set dresser
Kristen Rajterowski .... shopper (uncredited)
Sound Department
Michael J. Anastasi .... supervising sound designer
Omar Barraza .... boom operator
Dhyana Carlton-Tims .... supervising adr editor
Nash Cubero Jr. .... foley editor (as Nash Cubero)
Robert Dehn .... sound studio manager
Derek Deitz .... assistant sound editor
Jason Gaya .... re-recording mixer (as Jason 'Frenchie' Gaya)
Angela Hemingway .... dialogue editor
Steven Iba .... adr mixer
Richard Kitting .... sound mixer (as Richard 'Tricky' Kitting)
Zach Michaelis .... foley mixer
Matthew Sanchez .... sound mixer
Chris Terhune .... assistant sound editor
Vicki Vandegrift .... foley artist (as Vicki O'Reilly Vandergrift)
Andres Velasquez .... sound effects editor
Visual Effects by
Matt McElroy .... visual effects artist
Jeffrey Belgum .... digital artist (uncredited)
Chris Faczek .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Nick Guth .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
Mark Velazquez .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Lou Simon .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Kevin Akers .... first assistant camera
Team Bashet .... key grip
Joshua Bushek .... best boy grip
Chris Carroll .... best boy electric
Justin Coit .... still photographer: Salton Sea
Joseph Ghang .... camera production assistant
Joseph Segura .... second assistant camera (as Joe Sequra)
Jacqueline Stahl .... camera loader
Matthew Walker .... additional photography
Matthew Walker .... gaffer
Marianne Williams .... still photographer: Los Angeles
Vanessa Wolf .... electrician
Sean Dahlen .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Mithun Gangopadhyay .... electrician (uncredited)
Reed Morano .... camera operator (uncredited)
Colin Oh .... additional best boy electric (uncredited)
Jacqueline Stahl .... film loader (uncredited)
Sandra Stenzel .... electrician (uncredited)
Brandon Taylor .... additional key grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Chris Gehrt .... casting associate
Shaunessy James Quinn .... extras casting director: Rich King Casting (as Shaunessy Quinn)
Patty Majorczak-Connolly .... adr voice casting (uncredited)
Mark Sussman .... adr voice casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sarah Evelyn Bram .... wardrobe supervisor (as Sarah Bram)
Kimberly Bullard .... wardrobe intern
April Dunlap .... key set costumer (as April Alene Dunlap)
Analucia McGorty .... key set costumer (as Ana McGorty)
Editorial Department
Marcelo Aprile .... digital intermediate producer
Calvin Dunham .... post-production production assistant
Cassidy Greenwood .... digital intermediate conformer
Lara Khachooni .... assistant editor
Michael Lafuente .... digital intermediate technical director
Michael Mintz .... digital film colorist
Location Management
Joshua Banta .... location assistant
John Henry Haseltine .... location assistant
Jeff Palkevich .... location manager
Music Department
Carl Byron .... musician: piano, organ, The Suicide Gang
Chad Gilbert .... musician: guitar, The Suicide Gang
Nicole Gordon .... musician: vocals, The Suicide Gang
Elgin James .... musician: vocals, guitar, The Suicide Gang
Elizabeth James .... music supervisor
Paul Koch .... music editor
JJ Lee .... executive music producer (as JJ)
JJ Lee .... musician: guitar, The Suicide Gang
Christopher Lord .... executive music producer (as Chris)
Rich McCulley .... music engineer: certain tracks
Rich McCulley .... music producer: certain tracks
Rich McCulley .... musician: guitar, bass, The Suicide Gang
Steve Mugalian .... musician: drums, The Suicide Gang
Leah Zeger .... musician: violin, The Suicide Gang
Transportation Department
Shawndra Blyle .... driver
Matt Fitzgerald .... picture vehicles
Anastasia Levine .... driver (as Stasia Levine)
Lauren Levine .... transportation captain
Ashley Taylor .... driver: cast
Other crew
Greg Ammon .... intern
Jim Boettcher .... filmed with the generous support of (as James Boettcher)
Patricia Boettcher .... filmed with the generous support of
J.W. Buckley .... production consultant
Erika Canchola .... production attorney: Law Offices of Elsa Ramo
Marty Carlin .... set tutor
Huy Chau .... intern
Erin Connarn .... script supervisor
Sara Correa .... intern
Eleonore Dailly .... script clearance research
Todd D. Filener .... set medic
Becca Frucht .... intern
John Henry Haseltine .... assistant to director
Bryn Scott Hubbard .... craft service (as Bryn Hubbard)
Tierre Kennedy .... set security (as Scooby Kennedy)
Mercy Liao .... international sales: for WestEnd Films
Matt Meyerson .... skater wrangler
Ross Miller .... insurance broker
Tara Jean O'Brien .... production coordinator
Justin Owades .... intern
Elsa Ramo .... production attorney: Law Offices of Elsa Ramoi
Sonja Roth .... production accountant
Liam Satre-Meloy .... assistant: Polsky Films
Ashley Renee Saunders .... assistant production coordinator (as Ashley Saunders)
Elias Savada .... copyright research: director, Motion Picture Information Service
Eve Schoukroun .... international sales: WestEnd Films
Liz Singh .... intern
Candice Smith .... animal wrangler: dog
Sandra Smith .... set medic
Ashley Taylor .... animal wrangler: horse
Mattie Van Schoor .... production staff
Mindy Vela-Henderson .... assistant to director (as Mindy Vela Henderson)
Skylar A. Wilman .... insurance broker
Tomica Baquet .... animal trainer (uncredited)
Scott Fleisher .... key p/a (uncredited)
Jennifer Gray .... production attorney (uncredited)
Erin Myles .... additional voice (uncredited)
Joan Darling .... very special thanks
Gyula Gazdag .... very special thanks
Chad Gilbert .... thanks
Ryan Gosling .... thanks
Catherine Hardwicke .... very special thanks
Ed Harris .... thanks
Tift Merritt .... thanks
Robert Redford .... very special thanks
Michelle Satter .... very special thanks
Joan Tewkesbury .... thanks (as Joan Tewksbury)
Hayley Williams .... thanks
Alfre Woodard .... thanks
Jonathan Wysocki .... thanks
Benh Zeitlin .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for pervasive language, some violence including a sexual assault, sexuality/nudity, drug and alcohol use - all involving teens
USA:94 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Ryan Gosling is listed in the credits in gratitude for his cooperation.See more »
[first lines]
Alison:[narrating] My best friend Lily thought she was drowning. Drowning in the Salton Sea. Even though the water was too polluted to set foot in, and left anything in their town either dying, or dead.
Margaret Hobart:Lily? Are you okay? Hello...
Alison:Lily was determined to never let it get her.
[drops down into the bath water and starts screaming]
See more »
Tender BranchSee more »


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20 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Juno Temple and the trailer park, 2 January 2013
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

First time director Elgin James infuses an admirable look to his debut project, Little Birds, by giving the screen a hazy, cloudy look which at times dims or flushes out the color of the picture, providing one with the idea that they are seeing a film that is far, far away from the mainstream breed. I imagine those poor lonely misfits that will be able to identify with Little Birds and connect with it on a much more personal level than I did will feel treated with wonderful cinematography in a film that so perfectly "describes them." All I can hope for is that the same lonely, ostracized misfits discover a film like Larry Clark's Kids or even his other film Bully and then truly get a deep understanding at how unexplainable and cruel adolescents can be to themselves and to others. Those two films offer more insights and reality and truly play more like horror films than a potboiler drama. To be fair, Little Birds achieves at what it sets out to be and for that one must admire it, but in the grand sea of films focusing on young teens rebelling against societal conventions, its, how hipsters say, somewhat uncool? Our story concerns Lily (Juno Temple), a rebellious adolescent who just can't seem to stay in line, living in a trailer park with her tramp of a mother (Leslie Mann) and only able to connect with her longtime friend Alison (Kay Panabaker). Her town is on the coast of the undesirable Salton Sea, which is literally, rapidly decaying because of pollution and other chemicals on the sand. One day, Lily and Alison meets some Los Angeles teens, one of them named Jesse (Kyle Gallner), who takes a liking to Lily. Alison is impassive with these teens, who prove to be nothing but hoodlums and degenerates. The only reason they ventured out to spend the day in Salton Sea was so that they could skate in empty pools.

Later on, Lily pesters Alison to steal her step-dad's pickup truck and head out to Los Angeles to meet the boys and have another day of fun. Reluctantly adhering to Lily's demand, the two girls spend the day getting into trouble, shoplifting, and going down the path of sheer ugliness before they get the brilliant idea to provoke sex-crazed strangers over the internet, which leads to rather frightening results. Yet during these scenes, which are equal parts tense and predictable, I was reminded at how captivated and cold I was during the key murder scene in Clark's Bully, which was so tense that it was hard to swallow. The idea of young teenagers being forced to commit senseless acts that offer no explanation solely because they're in the company of others who enjoy causing such acts made the experience all the more tense because of the fact that it shows how frighteningly far the boundaries of peer pressure can be pushed.

Little Birds, sadly, doesn't offer that same level of depth and substance that one should anticipate walking in. The performers are all capable, as my eyes never left the charismatic Juno Temple, and was delighted to see Kay Panabaker assume a challenging role in a confident fashion. Also good here in an unfortunately toned-down role is Kyle Gallner, who was fun to watch in Kevin Smith's Red State and poignant in the brief scenes in Shawn Ku's Beautiful Boy. And it's fair to say that Elgin James' direction always feel attentive on characters and mood and never feels sterile or anemic.

Little Birds is a solid and stable genre-exercise but nothing more. It undermines its true potential, and too often allows its characters to stew in just average material. I would've liked to see more scenes involving the teens attempting to make conversation with their parents and vice-versa. Shouting matches can get tedious, especially when you've seen a handful of films centered on rebellion.

It's also interesting to note that this makes young Juno Temple three for three in the game of "how many poor, listless trailer park characters can I play in films?" with the two home-runs Dirty Girl and Killer Joe already under her belt. I love Temple as an actress and feel she has attitude and charm that could stretch a mile wide, but perhaps in order to test her abilities more she should move up the social class food chain to either comfortably poor or low middle class. Even the most skilled and reliable typecast actors need a breath of fresh air.

Starring: Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker, Kyle Gallner, and Leslie Man. Directed by: Elgin James.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Little Birds (2011)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I love Juno Temple but.. kittykatty
What would happen to Alison? SPOILERS Epiphany20
Ugh! I REALLY want to watch this! jthernandez2
Was wondering when a film based on the Salton Sea... floyd1985
The main scene that still pisses me off... Silhouettesinlace
Wow! scootercandy
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