Film Review: The Big Year
Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin compete in the race to spot as many rare birds as possible in one ‘Big Year’.
The Big Year
The Big Year follows three avid bird-watchers, at equally crucial points in their very different lives, as they compete to spot the most rare birds in an annual event across North America.
Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) is back to defend his title as the world’s greatest ‘Birder’, enraging his 3rd (or is it 4th?) wife, who is left at home desperately trying anything and everything to get pregnant, which proves difficult in the absence of Kenny.
Steve Martin reigns in his usual outlandish comic stylings as Stu Preissler, a weary company exec who has been putting off retirement and his dream to complete a Big Year for too long.
- 1 Family pay tribute to brothers, 13 and 17, killed in horror BMW crash
- 2 Judge makes contempt of court ruling against Camp Beagle protesters
- 3 Recap: Severe disruption on Great Northern and Thameslink trains to London
- 4 Food delivery robots taking to streets of Cambridgeshire
- 5 Huge Victorian house with pool and gym on sale for £1.75m
- 6 Boys, 13 and 17 killed in horror BMW crash near A47 in Peterborough
- 7 Jacob Crawshaw memorial football match raises more than £8,100
- 8 Man in his 40s suffers ‘life-changing injuries’ in major crash on A14
- 9 First episode of tractor TV show features farmer in Cambridgeshire
- 10 Long queues at Peterborough passport office ahead of holiday season
Stu befriends kind, carefree Brad Harris (Jack Black) who is easily the most dedicated bird-lover, but is hampered by budget restraints, a full-time job and a strained home-life.
As the three men scour the far corners of North America, from Alaska to New Mexico, in a bid to break Bosticks incredible world record, however, they each have to face up to ‘real-life’ issues back home and are all forced at some point to reassess their Big Year.
Jack Black is becoming more and more likeable as his film career progresses, tackling his role with an, as yet unseen, maturity and tenderness.
Both Owen Wilson and Steve Martin are also noticeably more resigned than the slap-stick characters we’re used to seeing them play, lending the film a calmer, more thoughtful air than is perhaps expected.
Great performances all round, incredible scenery, and an innovative vehicle for a middle-aged male mid-life crisis film, but a middle-aged male mid-life crisis film nonetheless.
Touching in places, but Sideways and About Schmidt did it first and they did it better.