More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “Little Birds,” a coming of age story starring Juno Temple — not a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror movie.
Director: Elgin James
Cast: Juno Temple, Kate Bosworth, Leslie Mann
Criticwire Average: C+ (10 critics)
Official Synopsis: “15 year-old Lily (Temple) and her best friend Alison (Kay Panabaker) live on the shores of the Salton Sea among rundown trailers parks, rotting household items, drained pools and decaying streets. What was once an oasis for the wealthy and famous has become a near ghost town, leaving its residents fighting for breath in the deep end. Lily feels eternally claustrophobic and rebellious, living with her manic, single mother (Mann), clinging to hope for something more exciting than visits with her young and already washed up Aunt (Kate Bosworth).”
“James’ skill and assurance, his empathy with his characters, and his ability to build mood and tension are striking.”
“A touching and distinctive achievement.”
“It’s the relationship between the two, drawn out by two wonderful performances by good girl Kay Pannabaker and bad girl Juno Temple, that is the real showstopper.”
“Temple can, by this point, play the role in her sleep — and she kind of does.”
“A prime example of miserabilist indie cinema and, despite its strong craft, consistently a tough sit.”
“Little Birds” is now available on VOD.