The cinema of the pandemic remains an ongoing thing, which is appropriate given that the pandemic itself does as well. This time out, another character piece shot in gorgeous black and white follows the cast and crew of a film after they have been sent home in the early days of lockdown.
The film is very much an ensemble, and as a result, it follows several versions of what going through lockdowns was like. Some couples don’t make it, and some couples that do. Some characters can hack the isolation, and some can’t. First time director Kirsty Bell is able to balance all of these characters well, and at no point does it feel like we’re too much with one or not enough with another.
Better still, the cast itself is excellent, with Derek Jacobi putting in an excellent performance as an older performer, cut from the production but still very much connected to it. Camilla Rutherford is likewise outstanding as an older actress with a fading star who can’t bear the loss of momentum to her career or her life. Jeff Fahey gets to show up and read love letters in his delightfully gravelly voice, something I didn’t know I needed.
I won’t lie; there are themes you are familiar with in A Bird Flew In. In some ways, it feels too soon. The film dramatizes the early days of the pandemic, but that’s only last year, and it is still far from over. Still, it’s gorgeously shot and features some excellent capital-A acting from its cast, and that’s enough to keep my butt in a seat almost any day.
A Bird Flew In is playing at Raindance Film Festival tonight in-person at the Curzon Soho Cinema and online in the UK from November 6th to 8th.
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