The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (4)
| DVD (3)
Sensitively acted, beautifully planned visually and dynamite musically, this is a dramatic telling of the troubled life of a revolutionary artist.
At last American cinema has done black music proud. Unforgettable.
Bird is less moving as a character study than it is as a tribute and as a labor of love. The portrait it offers, though hazy at times, is one Charlie Parker's admirers will recognize.
Whitaker sweats, vomits, blows and wails as the Bird (so named for hanging around jazz clubs like a yardbird), laying in some minor-key grace to Parker's self-destruction along the way. But he never lets you into his darkest fears.
Even though, thematically, the movie won't come clear, Eastwood has succeeded so thoroughly in communicating his love of his subject, and there's such vitality in the performances, that we walk out elated, juiced on the actors and the music.
Whitaker occupies this world as a large, friendly, sometimes taciturn man who tries to harm nobody and who cannot understand why the world would not let him play his music. Neither can we.
The greatest strength of Clint Eastwood's bio-pic tribute to jazz saxophone great Charlie 'Bird' Parker, is its dark and haunting mood.
Eastwood shows a Parker that is haunted by his boyhood addiction, and shows off the innumerable people who loved his talent who were let down by him time and again.
Eastwood made the switch from Hollywood icon to great world director with his viciously underrated Bird.
Overlong, and reeking of prestige.
Eastwood clearly is committed to presenting Bird to his audience with all of his complexities and contradictions intact.
Whitaker gives a towering performance as the tortured musical genius, and Venora is equally impressive as the independent, compassionate Chan.
This is the biopic of jazz legend Bird Parker.
Forest Whitaker gives a tour de force performance in the titular role of this biopic. It's a complicated role for Whitaker, filled with moments when he battles segregation with strategic charm and other moments when he's so strung out that I found it difficult to sympathize with him. Whitaker handles all the acting challenges with the poise of a seasoned vet.
Clint Eastwood's direction captures the feel of jazz. Smoky nightclubs, some quick dialogue, and an ever-present brassy score bring back the environment of the time with a bygone verisimilitude.
While the narrative structure - telling the middle of the story at the beginning - works toward the start of the film, it falls apart halfway through. Also, Diane Venora can't keep up with Whitaker, and the reasons why Chan loves him become less and less clear.
Overall, you should see this film because of Whitaker, and if you like the music of the era, you're in for a real treat.
an expertly crafted film. the direction and acting were flawless, and the music was obviously exceptional. my real criticism of the film lies in the choices made in the writing. it seems the film was dominated by parkers personal life rather than his music, and more balance was probably appropriate, and even with the focus as presented there were a few major pieces of parkers life not included in the film that really should have been. overall, an incomplete look at bird despite the films lengthy running time, but what we were given was made with precision and the film was a joy to watch.
A biopic on Charlie "Bird" Parker, Clint Eastwood crafts this film as a labor of love. His love for Jazz music is apparent with this film, and its a well told and acted biopic. Clint Eastwood has tremendous flair in telling a great story, and he tells Charlie Parker's story with knowledge on the subject matter at hand. The film is dark and sad. Parker lived a sad life and this is what unfolds on the film. Bird is a terrific biopic on a tremendously talented musician. This is one of the best biopics I've seen seen. As a diehard fan of Heavy Metal and rock music, I thoroughly enjoyed something different such as a film about a Jazz musician. If you want a terrificbiopic on a tremendous musician, then Bird is for you.
Couldn't get into it.
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