When I was contacted about running a clip from an upcoming indie called “A Bird Of The Air,” one thing got my attention right away, the name of co-star Rachel Nichols. Aside from the fact that she’s adorable, I think she’s interesting although still largely untested on film. She still hasn’t had that breakthrough role or that big moment, and so instead, she’s chipping away doing nice work in films like “P2” or “Conan The Barbarian” or on shows like “Alias.”
Is “A Bird Of The Air” a different type of role for her? Maybe. I don’t know much about it. The first time I heard of it was when they approached me with the clip. When I got home from Toronto, I found a screener of this one waiting on my desk, and at some point this weekend, I’ll throw it in and take a look at it.
The film was written by Roger Towne, who is indeed the brother of screenwriting legend Robert Towne. Here’s hoping this is more of a Beau Bridges situation than a Jim Hanks situation, where this is a brother with his own thing going on, and not just someone barely getting by on a last name. He did write a draft or two of “The Natural,” so fingers crossed, right?
Today, we’ve got a moment where the two main characters in the film seem to be meeting for the first time, featuring Nichols and co-star Jackson Hurst. To set the clip in context, here’s the official synopsis they sent over with it:
A sassy parrot and a free-spirited librarian upend the well-ordered life of a solitary man.
Lyman (Jackson Hurst) is a loner, working the graveyard shift for the Courtesy Patrol. When a green parrot flies in to his trailer he becomes obsessed with finding its owner, which leads him to Fiona(Rachel Nichols). She has been eyeing Lyman from a distance and decides to help with his parrot search, whether he wants her to or not. Along with her basset hound, they set out on a quest to find the bird”s previous owners and Fiona begins to unravel the mysteries of Lyman’s past. But when Fiona joins Lyman on his nightly rounds, she witnesses a reality more intense than the romantic version she had envisioned.??
Also featured are Linda Emond (Julie & Julia), Buck Henry (Grumpy Old Men), two-time Tony-winner Judith Ivey (Hurlyburly, CBS’s Designing Women), Erik Jensen, Matte Osian (ABC’s Ugly Betty, NBC’s Law & Order), Rocco Sisto (Donnie Brasco, HBO’s The Sopranos) Phyllis Somerville (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and Louis Zorich (NBC’s Mad About You). Producers are Steven Tabakin, Margaret Whitton , and Warren Spector of Tashtego Films. Filmed in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, A Bird of the Air was shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Philippe Rousselot (A River Runs Through It) with costumes by Joseph G. Aulisi (The Pink Panther, Shaft) and production design by Mark Alan Duran (To Live and Die). Sabine Hoffman (The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) is editor. Music is composed by David Majzlin. Susan Jacobs is Music Supervisor.
The director is Margaret Whitton, who has a long career as an actor, and this appears to be her first time behind the camera. For now, enjoy the clip and once I’ve seen the film, I’ll weigh in with a review.
The film opens in limited release on September 23, 2011.