Film Review: BLUEBIRD (directed by Lance Edmands / World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on April 22, 2013

in Film


Lesley (Amy Morton), a school bus driver, gets distracted by a bluebird while inspecting her bus at the end of her shift and fails to notice a little boy asleep in one of the rear seats. The ramifications of this are the subject of Lance Edmands’ feature directorial debut Bluebird. Grim, cold and static, the film is set in a small, poor, northern logging town dominated by a paper mill, where the sky is gray, the people financially vulnerable, and where the women don’t wear any make-up. Mr. Edmands, who also wrote the screenplay, presents us with a very competent piece of realist filmmaking, creating a believable, organic universe with real characters and real problems. His script is slow but solid and the actors deliver unassailable performances; especially captivating is Emily Meade as Paula. Little happens and not much gets resolved in Bluebird, but such is the style of the piece. There is nothing profound or even especially moving here, but again the idea seems to be to look in on the lives of these people without disturbing them with what might seem like artificially theatrical elements, such as a dynamic plot, characters who move the story, explosive drama, evolving conflicts, etc. All in all a fine piece of filmmaking. But with so many similarly understated, realist works populating the “independent” section of the Netflix library, the question one finds oneself asking is: Why make another one?

photos © Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Vacationland LLC
USA / Sweden – 2013 – Color – 90 min.
World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival
opens Feb 27, 2015 in Chicago, NY, L.A., and VOD platforms
for more info visit Bluebird

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