There are a lot of clichés that film can rely upon to create characters, a woman fainting to denote a pregnancy, a child avoiding eye contact to demonstrate autistic tendencies. I imagine when you’re making a short film, like Molly Parker’s Bird, it would be easy to simply rely upon stereotypes to get to the heart of a character faster.

Thankfully, Parker, the writer and director, hasn’t done this. Amanda Plummer (well-known from Pulp Fiction, but known best to me from So I Married an Axe Murderer) is a rumpled daughter trying to stay connected to her slowly disappearing parents. The eponymous Sunny clearly makes her blind mother happy, but her father is becoming nearly unaware of the day-to-day aspects of his surroundings. What we get to see is Plummer’s struggle to help them when she clearly has issues of her own. If there’s anything negative to be said about the film, it’s that I wanted more of this story and these characters. It contains characters you recognize, but don’t yet understand, so no clichés here.

Screens (as part of Short Cuts Programme 3):
Saturday, September 9, 4 PM, Scotiabank 14
Friday, September 15, 6:30 PM, Scotiabank 10

Tickets can be purchased at the TIFF website.