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Movie: The Big Year (2011)

Everyone is searching for something

The Big Year (2011) is a comedy movie based on the book The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession written by Mark Obmascik. It introduces bird-watching in depth, or "birding" for serious bird lovers.

Synopsis: Brad Harris (Jack Black) follows his dreams to compete in the "Big Year" in a year's time. Along the way, he meets other talented birders including defending champion Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) and semi-retiree Stu Preissler (Steve Martin). As the three desperately try to outdo each other to win the title, they find themselves struggling with priorities and what is important in their life.

This is a really heart-warming movie. First of all, the plot is minimalist but with great storyline. The entire movie is about birding and that takes us the audience to almost everywhere in the U.S. - from Attu Island in Alaska to Brownsville, the southernmost tip of the state of Texas, and everywhere in between.

Secondly, the characters are good. Owen Wilson plays Kenny Bostick, the defending champion of the "Big Year" who has trouble deciding between his obsession and spending more time with his wife, Jessica (Rosamund Pike). As the world's greatest birder, he does everything he could to thwart his competitors' chances of winning.

Steve Martin plays Stu Preissler, a businessman on the verge of retirement who decides to pursue his long-time dream to spend a year birding, but he faces strong resistance from his employees. Jack Black is Brad Harris, the youngest of the lot. As aimless as he seems to be, his passion in birds is priceless. Along his journey, he finds friendship and love.

In short, it's really enjoyable watching these three actors with performances beyond their usual comedy shtick.

Again I would say, this is a really heart-warming movie. There are funny moments here and there, but as the movie ends, you might have started thinking about your own priorities and dreams in life, as the tagline says, "Everyone is searching for something."

Do watch it if you need some inspiration at this point of time.


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