Gary Newman, an engineer from silicon valley, has just arrived in Paris, France for a very important business trip. He attends the meeting but it's apparent from the onset that Gary is very distracted. From France, Gary is supposed to fly to Dubai but he unexpectedly decides not to go, abruptly deciding to quit his high paying job and in his words, start his life over again. He holds himself up in his room, explaining to his wife and business partners that he will not be returning home. As Gary deals with his personal demons, fate brings a young maid at the hotel, Audrey, into his life. Pascale Ferran is an incredibly unique experience that blends fairy tale and character drama together with beautiful results. A film about human connection and finding oneself in the rat race of life isnt a new concept but the subtlety and grace exuded by the filmmakers is genuinely impressive. Bird People taps into the meditative state of its characters, delivering a poetic film about humanity and individuality. Gary can certainly be viewed as a selfish character but there is no doubt the audience will empathize with him, a man whose full of emptiness due to a detachment from human connection, and loss of individuality,thanks to the business world rat race. Aubrey is another interesting part of the puzzle, a young maid who struggles with similar issues but has not been nearly as broken down. Her side of the story is more like a fairy tale, as she transforms into a bird for one night, observing a host of individuals in the hotel and airport. While this fantasy element of the film was a bit distracting at first, it elevates the film, being symbolic of Aubrey and Gary's desire for personal freedom. From a technical standpoint, Bird People is a very well crafted film that juxtaposes these two characters loss of perceived freedom with frantic airports, translations, and highways. It exposes the fast paced nature of life while capturing what becomes lost in the chaos. Pascale Ferran Bird People is a poetically nuanced study of individuality, loneliness, and connection that features a great central performance by Josh Charles, making it one of the most unique and touching movies of the year.
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