Rob Meyers' A Birder's Guide to Everything is refreshingly unencumbered by cynicism, which is most likely why Ben Kingsley attached himself to the project for two years while this first-time director was trying to raise the money. The film is not about Kingsley's character, but rather a funny and surprisingly moving road trip movie about a teenage boy who longs to hold onto the memory of his deceased mother through their shared hobby: birding. The performances by the kids are not without their momentary flaws, but I was incredibly impressed with their comedic and improvisational abilities. They carried the movie well. Rob and his writing partner Luke Matheny (Academy Award winner for his short film God of Love), not surprisingly, wrote a funny script that manages to maintain its heart throughout. I say "not surprisingly" because I know both of them and they are very funny and kind human beings.
Tribeca audiences were clearly enchanted by A Birder's Guide to Everything as it ran just shy of winning the Heinekin Audience Award today, landing in the runner up spot.