29 January 2017 | Wizard-8
Unsatisfying indie film
Though picked up for distribution by a major Hollywood studio, "Pretty Bird" didn't seem to have received much (if any) exposure in theaters, and it doesn't take long into watching it to figure out why. To be sure, the cast is talented and appealing, and there is nothing really wrong with the premise of the movie. But it is the actual execution that sinks things. The characters more often than not are somewhat thin; their motivations and other personality touches are murky. The tone is inconsistent; the movie can't decide whether it's a quirky comedy with dramatic touches, or a drama with comic touches. The plot elements are somewhat confusing at times; it seems that linking material that would have made things a lot clearer either wasn't filmed or was edited out. Also, the ending seems somewhat abrupt, as if director Paul Schneider was running out of money towards the end of shooting. In the end, while the movie is not aggressively bad, it is all the same very unsatisfying. But it may be of interest to independent filmmakers; if this movie could play at the Sundance film festival and somehow get nominated for a grand jury prize, there is hope for other independent filmmakers no matter how disappointing their movies may be.