DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE BIRDWATCHER (VAATLEJE) (director/writer: Arvo Iho; screenwriter: Marina Sheptunova; cinematographer: Tatyana Loginova; editor: Marju Juhkum/Ingrid Laos; music: Olivier Bernard; cast:  Thom Hoffman (Charles Williamsen), Ines de Medeiros (Miranda Fernandez), Catherine de Seynes (Beth Glassborough),  Svetlana Tormakhova (Aleksandra ), Erik Ruus (Peeter), Javier Cruz (Ricardo), Hans Meyer (Mitch Glassborough),  Diane Bellego (Helena); Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Ants Kriis; PalinFilm; 1988-France/Portugal-French, Spanish, English, with English subtitles)

"A droll dramedy that slowly builds to a harsh but implausible political climax."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A droll dramedy that slowly builds to a harsh but implausible political climax. It's helmed by Gabriel Auer (Arvo Iho) ("The Heart of the Bear") and written by Marina Sheptunova and the director.

In 1975 an erudite young American ornithologist, Dr. Charles Williamson (Thom Hoffman), studying seagulls, treks to a remote French Basque island and takes lodging in a luxury hotel. There the easygoing lad has a stormy relationship with a grouchy middle-aged Spanish widow, Miranda Fernandez (Ines de Medeiros). Her father is a member of Franco’s inner circle and is expected on the island for a bird-hunt. Charles also comes into contact with the mysterious British bird-hunter Mitch Glassborough (Hans Meyer). Mistaken by the Basque islanders for someone else, Charles insists he's just a birdwatcher who happens to have unusual camera equipment. 

REVIEWED ON 3/19/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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