7.4/10
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3 user 12 critic

Birthday (2015)

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1:25 | Trailer
A severely wounded Marine and his wife finally come home following months of surgeries and rehab. A powerful and realistic depiction of what it is like for our wounded vets and their spouses as they face enormously difficult times ahead.

Director:

Chris King
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mandy Moody ... Wife
Chris Gouchoe ... Marine
Eric Wheeler ... Doctor
Matt Saculla Matt Saculla ... Combat Marine 1
Quincy Moreland Quincy Moreland ... Combat Marine 2
Ryan Havner Ryan Havner ... Combat Marine 3
Ben Friedrich Ben Friedrich ... Combat Marine 4
Aaron Leong Aaron Leong ... Combat Marine 5
Jacqueline Calkin Jacqueline Calkin ... Surgeon
Jesse Cottle Jesse Cottle ... Wounded Marine
Kelly Cottle Kelly Cottle ... Rehab Nurse
Josh Hotaling Josh Hotaling ... Wounded Marine
Brittany Parsons Brittany Parsons ... Wounded Soldier
Robert Downey Robert Downey ... Wounded Soldier
David Lambert David Lambert ... Wounded Soldier
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Storyline

A severely wounded Marine and his wife finally come home following months of surgeries and rehab. A powerful and realistic depiction of what it is like for our wounded vets and their spouses as they face enormously difficult times ahead.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama | Romance | War

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 2015 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Sacramento, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Watermark Films (II) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
the struggles personified
22 November 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. A necessity for short films is to be able to connect with viewers almost immediately. Filmmaker Chris King does just that as we are plopped right in on a FaceTime session between a soldier and his wife. We quickly learn he's only 43 days from returning home, and their pure love for each other is obvious.

What follows is the first of two montage sequences that constitute the bulk of the movie. The first bounces back and forth between the soldier sweeping for mines and his wife teaching school. One wrong step has him being carted off by fellow soldiers and the wife's reaction at being told of his situation.

The second montage takes us through his surgery, rehabilitation and the couple working to live their lives together and maintain their love. The montage approach works here because it allows us to see, in brief flashes, how the stories progress and how the wife and Marine/husband deal with the challenges.

Crucial to the effectiveness of this short are the performances of Chris Gouchoe as the soldier, and especially Mandy Moody as his wife. With minimal dialogue, she expresses joy (the FaceTime segment), shock (when told), sadness (reality hits), determination (she carries him piggyback), and pride (the final scene). Additionally, we never doubt their love for each other and the wide range of emotions is beautiful to behold.

Rather than making a political statement or being presented as an anti-war protest, the film is a straight-forward reminder of what so many families and soldiers go through after the war. All injuries might not be as severe as those of this particular Marine, but the obstacles are both physical and psychological for all involved. The fact that this one plays so much like a documentary speaks to the strength of the actors and the talent of the filmmakers.


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