Tag Archives: Owen Wilson

Birds part deux

Four hundred years ago — okay, more like 12 — I attended a writing conference at Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod.

One of our assignments was to come up with a new scenario for a movie using only the items found in our hotel room as inspiration.

Now, my hotel was rather rustic (translation: cheap).  The wallpaper had tiny geese flying in vee’s across a yellow, late evening sky.  It was ugly, but I used it.

My idea:   What if two birdwatchers — one a noted expert, the other a novice — accidentally kill a rare bird that they are admiring?  Horrified, they try to cover up the accident in a variety of ways, all of which go terribly awry.

Hilarity ensues.

I pictured Dudley Moore as the lead. (It was 12 years ago.)  I thought it was a pretty funny idea, but maybe too niche-y for Hollywood.

I mean, who would do a movie about birdwatching?

Fast-forward to 2011.  Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are starring in the new movie The Big Year.  Take a look at the trailer:

What you can’t really tell from this clip is that these three men are avid birdwatchers…competing at a prestigious birdwatching event!

See?  Someone actually made a film about birdwatching, and even they think it’s too niche-y to use in the marketing.

I was so ahead of my time.

Change is good

Sometimes a change in scenery is good, sometimes time runs out in a certain spot. — Phil Nevin

Leaving New York City is very good for Woody Allen.

I loved Match Point, set in London, which Allen completed in 2005. Oscar voters loved Vicky Cristina Barcelona, giving Penelope Cruz the Best Supporting Oscar nod.

And Allen’s newest endeavor, Midnight in Paris, may be the biggest charmer of them all.

Allen is not in the film.  That is a good thing. Owen Wilson plays the Woody role, but he plays it as an optimist. I swore I saw the sun shining in his eyes a few times, he is so upbeat (even when he is sad).

His counterpoint is Rachel McAdams, his fiancee and generally unlikable person.  Her parents are even less so.  There is a big “THUD” when they appear on screen because there is no nuance to their characters, but perhaps they are supposed to be the dose of reality.

Because the rest of the film is magic.  Owen’s love affair with the city of Paris.  The people he meets…and he meets some pretty fantastic people.  The unexpected cameos and brilliant performances by actors not mentioned in any promotion for the film.  (I was surprised; I want you to be, too.)

I enjoyed Midnight in Paris so muchIt was, quite simply, a delight.

Guess where I’m jonesin’ to go now?