The dream life of angles: In Pascale Ferran’s “Bird People,” at a Hilton hotel near Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, Gary, an American engineer (Josh Charles) who squirrels himself away while impulsively on the run from his life (job, wife, encroaching middle age) meets a young French maid, Audrey (Anaïs Demoustier) whose fantasies are altogether surprising. The parallel tracks of their stories, the hopes of each for transforming their lives, enchant as much as what seems like a fated union. While the film’s first half finds fascination in details of the quotidian of Audrey’s day-to-day life, “Bird People” finds its form once enough surreal details burst to the surface. (The title offers a clue to the film’s key flight of whimsy.) Two people, adrift, one observant, one not, near a place where others take flight each day: the conceit is plain, simple, wispy and largely lovely. Potential narratives, other characters, other lives, could connect through Ferran’s film, that’s in the air, but will Gary and Audrey? Details, details. With Radha Mitchell, Mathieu Amalric, Roschdy Zem, Hippolyte Girardot. 128m. (Ray Pride)
“Bird People” opens at Siskel Friday, November 7 for two weeks.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.