Bird: Charlie Parker

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The Malpaso Company Released 1988

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Movie Summary

Director:
Clint Eastwood
Released:
1988
Rating:
R

Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood ("Letters from Iwo Jima", "Flags of Our Fathers"), a well-known, long-standing jazz aficionado, delivers a compassionate portrait of jazz visionary Charlie "Yardbird" Parker. Eastwood, who won a Golden Globe for Best Director for this film, also paints a vivid portrait of the jazz world in all its complexity. Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland," "Phone Booth"), as Parker, provides a multifaceted performance that helps provide an understanding of the man's genius, and tragedy. Co-starring Diane Venora ("The Insider", "Heat"), who along with Whitaker was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in this picture, Bill Cobbs ("Night at the Museum", "The Hudsucker Proxy"), John Witherspoon (the "Friday" movie series, TV's "The Wayans Bros.") and Tony Cox ("Bad Santa", "Epic Movie").

Metacritic Score

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Bird wisely does not attempt to "explain" Parker's music by connecting experiences with musical discoveries. This is a film of music, not about it, and one of the most extraordinar...

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Jack Mathews

    The film is as faithful to its subject as perhaps any film biography has been. As Eastwood said, Parker was a paradoxical character, both self-destructive and full of life, and the...

  • 70

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    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.

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    Arts, Drama, Music