Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Big Year

"The Big Year" refers to a bird watching contest where participants spend the entire calendar year trying to observe as many species of North American bird possible. Three men, each going through his own personal crisis, pursue their life's passion and enter the contest, traversing the continent and engaging in both friendships and rivalries with each other. "The Big Year" is an old fashioned race film that seems quite knowledgeable of its obscure topic. In addition to being treated to a warm and funny film, we also gain some ornithological knowledge as well. The film stars three endearing actors who all contribute nicely hear: Jack Black as a down on his luck computer programmer, Steve Martin as a recent retiree who fears he may have waited to long to pursue his dream, and Owen Wilson as the event record holder who will do anything to protect it, even if it cost him his marriage. The supporting cast is equally bright as well: I really liked Dianne Wiest and Brian Dennehy as Black's parents and Rashida Jones is her usual bristling self as his love interest. JoBeth Williams is strong as Martin's wife and Rosamund Pike is adorable as Wilson's. Anjelica Huston has humorous role as well as a cantankerous charter boat captain. After awhile the film starts to wear thin and grows slightly redundant, but with such a sunny film and an engaging cast, it is hard to complain.