2014 Canadian Film Fest: The Birder – Capsule Review

Director: Ted Bezaire
Writers: Ted Bezaire, Michael Stasko
Actors: Tom Cavanagh, Graham Greene, Fred Willard, Mark Rendall, Cassidy Renée
Rating: 14A
Runtime: 85 min

The new film from Canadian writer and director Ted Bezaire, The Birder (2013), depicts the story of Ron Spencer (Tom Cavanagh), a mild teacher and loving father with a passion for birding. Ron is stunned when he is passed over for the position of Head of Ornithology in favour of young, cool, and attractive Floyd (Jamie Spilchuk), and consequently sets out to gain the title for himself with the help of new friend Ben (Mark Rendall). Although the subject matter may sound dull, this film playfully pokes fun at its own material and is in actuality a very charming, funny, and enjoyable film. There is no real antagonist present, as every character is a genuinely nice person even if their interests don’t always coincide, and all are original and zany so that an audience can become invested in their various stories. The film depicts several relationships, including those based on romance, family, and friendship, and the diverse stories intertwine in a very satisfying manner. The acting in this film is relatively strong, including a noteworthy debut performance by Cassidy Renée as Ron’s bird enthusiast daughter Samantha, and a unique score adds to the viewing experience. The Birder is a surprisingly sweet and sensitive comedy full of charm and heart, and although it may be predictable, it is still refreshing to see such a well-meaning film created these days.

Rating: 8/10

The Birder plays March 21 at 7pm at The Royal Cinema.