|The birders: Michael Chen; Katherine Chang; Alex Wolff; Kodi Smit-McPhee|
Like his mother, who died 18 months ago, David is an avid birder. Needless to say, he doesn't belong to the coolest high school clique. But he does have a few friends, who band together and form the Young Birder's Society.
One day, David sites a duck that resembles an endangered species. And that's what lifts this bittersweet coming-of-age story into flight.
In some ways David is a modern-day Holden Caulfield, whose actions were also informed by the loss of a family member, and whose distrust of the older generation was often justified. (David's dad is marrying his mother's former nurse.)
David, however, does not lose himself in Manhattan, but in the woods where he and his friends hunt for the elusive duck.
Full disclosure: The Movie Slut is also a bird watcher's offspring, who joined her dad traipsing around the woods in search of flying creatures. Maybe this is why she adores this flick. But at the same time, she knows they got it rights. Oh, the wonder of spotting a shy songbird perched high on a branch, hiding between the leaves!