13 user 4 critic

Bluebird (2004)

Merel, a talented young girl, is suddenly getting bullied at school.


Mijke de Jong
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elske Rotteveel Elske Rotteveel ... Merel de Leeuw
Kees Scholten Kees Scholten ... Kasper de Leeuw
Elsie de Brauw Elsie de Brauw ... Mrs. De Leeuw
Jaap Spijkers Jaap Spijkers ... Mr. De Leeuw
Bright O'Richards Bright O'Richards ... Charles
Bente de Vries Bente de Vries ... Julie
Floris Heyne Floris Heyne ... Peer
Carmen Otten Carmen Otten ... Kim
Sharai Voet Sharai Voet ... Cindy
Samir Veen Samir Veen ... Martijn
Ramon Lieshout Ramon Lieshout ... Freek
Bodine van Zalk Bodine van Zalk ... Blond meisje 1
Avalon Verbunt Avalon Verbunt ... Blond meisje 2
Florentijn van Meeuwen Florentijn van Meeuwen ... Laila
Eline Hoorn Eline Hoorn ... Cecilia


Merel is a young girl with a lot of talent. She excels at school, is good on the springboard and is careful too. Her severely handicapped brother Kasper gets a lot of attention. Merel also has talent for singing. It is no surprise that she is asked for the school musical. But maybe Merel is a bit too convinced of herself. When people perform solos, she likes to sing along loudly. This doesn't fall on good ground though. People start ignoring her and she is getting bullied. All of the sudden Merel's life isn't that easy anymore, it will be hard to keep herself together. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music






Dutch | English | French

Release Date:

10 April 2004 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Pasarea albastra See more »


Box Office


€1,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Written by Flea and Anthony Kiedis
Performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers
See more »

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User Reviews

An outstanding acting performance.
4 March 2006 | by shanfloydSee all my reviews

"Bluebird" is an extremely well-crafted Dutch movie which, though originally produced as a children's film, would be enjoyed by audience of any age. It features a 12-year-old schoolgirl, Merel (meaning 'blackbird'), who is a good student, a good swimmer, a caring older sister for her handicapped young brother and an avid reader of classic English novels. One day, suddenly, she found out that she's being bullied and later, physically beaten by certain classmates of her. But she didn't somehow complain or inform about this to her teacher or her parents. But her private life and her nature began to change.

From my description of Merel's character earlier, it may seem that she's a perfect child. But she's not. She does not have any good friends except a kindly man she met at the train. She is basically introvert. But she's not at all glum or mentally precocious. She is happy when she really likes it, at other times she's just silent. In this very difficult role in my opinion, debutant Elske Rottevéel gives a really outstanding performance. The camera is on her in practically every scene, showing her every emotion. And she never seemed uncomfortable or weak in her role. The occasional bits of Merel's subtle and controlled expressions of happiness are nicely portrayed by Rottevéel. I safely write that hers is one of the top five performances I've seen by a child actor. And mind you, she's not some 16-year-old playing 12.

The film ends with a quite predictable ending, which is good because I wouldn't like major plot twists in this kind of films. The filmmakers should be thanked once again for presenting us such a simple example where one doesn't need to exaggerate in any way to make a good film. And thanks to the film authorities of Netherlands to select this film to compete for the Academy Awards nomination, otherwise audiences like us from another continent wouldn't come to know about it.

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