Sundance BuzzCheck™: 'Pretty Bird'
Later this week, you’ll see my on-camera interview with the peeps from Pretty Bird (peeps, get it?! ha!), the directorial debut of indie character actor Paul Schenider (Lars and the Real Girl), starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Crudup, SNL‘s Kristen Wiig, and David Hornsby (Six Feet Under) as a misfit pack of losers who band together to make and market a “rocket belt” (i.e. jet pack). Well, actually, it was barely an interview — I said maybe 20 words the entire time, as the five essentially riffed off each other unabated for five minutes at a time. (I probably could’ve just gotten up and left, as they all were handling things fine without me.)
I especially wish the Pretty Bird audience at the Racquet Club last night had a chance to witness the freewheeling hilarity of that “interview,” because they certainly didn’t experience it in the film itself. Laced with a mordantly off-kilter sense of humor, the movie seemed to make many people laugh out of confusion as much as anything else, and the last 30 minutes left most completely bewildered. Waiting outside for the shuttle bus afterward, one long-standing indie distributor muttered, to no one in particular, “I don’t understand why they even placed that in the festival. It was so bad.” While I don’t know if I’d go that far (I’ve certainly seen far worse here), I do hope for Schneider and Co.’s sake that they’re able to remain in the same good spirits today that they demonstrated at our EW studio yesterday.