‘Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets’ Review: Teen Anxiety and Cinematic Frippery


James Whitman (Lucas Jade Zumann), a teenager who favors an everyday wardrobe of button-down shirts and suspenders, is very big on another Whitman: Walt. Upon waking in the morning, he recites: “I am light! I am truth! I am might! I am youth!” — his stab at a “Leaves of Grass”-style song of himself.

This is the only actual poetry, such as it is, concocted by its title “sad poet.” (Dr. Bird is an imaginary therapist, taking the form of a pigeon.) For James, figuring out social relationships, particularly with the opposite sex, and negotiating family problems, of which he has plenty, occupy more of his time than writing. And because James has depression and anxiety, these emotional concerns are tougher on him than other adolescents.

This sounds familiar, and it is. But “Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets,” written and directed by Yaniv Raz from a novel by Evan Roskos, aims to lend its commonplace elements distinction via a lot of filmmaking frippery.



Source link Nytimes.com

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