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Movie Review: Owl and the Sparrow

Alternate Title: When Dreams Come True

Story: This movie is a simple story about Thuy, a 10 year old girl with an incredible amount of spunk (and she tilts the cute scale off its meter too). Against all odds, she runs away from her Uncle's factory to find a better life and happiness in Saigon. This delightful piece was written and directed by Vietnam born, American raised Stephane Gauger. The little girl is front and center in the story but the secondary city of Saigon is not far behind. The hustle and bustle of this fast growing metropolis plays more than a cameo role.

Little Thuy finds a warren of other lost children on the streets of Saigon. This film could have gone in another direction if the director chose to focus on why these children are living on the street but director Gauger chose the sunny side of the street instead. The other kids take little Thuy under their wing so she can earn a living by either selling postcards or roses to tourists. While wandering the streets she meets a lonely flight attendant and a caring zookeeper who round out the tale.

Will little Thuy find the happiness she seeks? Will the zookeeper find love? Will the flight attendant ever smile? Will the elephant and orangutan survive? All these questions are answered in this ode to Saigon.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMhrg0PUK3Q

Acting: Cat Ly as the flight attendant was right on target. Le The Lu as the zoo keeper was perfect and the adorable, first time in the movies, Pham Thi Han as Thuy was wonderful.

Trivia: I visited Vietnam last year. If you want to see my loving portrait of this country check out some of my photos from Vietnam.

OVERVIEW: http://www.judithwolfe.com/vietnam.html

SAIGON CITY ZOO: http://www.judithwolfe.com/SAIGONZOO.html

FACES: http://www.judithwolfe.com/vietnamfaces.html

TRANSPORTATION: http://www.judithwolfe.com/VietnamMoves.html

THE MARKETPLACE: http://www.judithwolfe.com/vietmarket.html

Predilection: I like to see films about places I have traveled.

Critters: The elephant and orangutan that are featured prominently in the film are represented in my photo montage from my visit tot he Saigon City Zoo. http://www.judithwolfe.com/SAIGONZOO.html

Food: Yummy fare. I was hungry for some Vietnamese food when I left the theater.

Opening Titles: Titles are at the end.

Visual Art: A loving portrait by director Gauger of his city of birth.

Theater Audience: About 30 others.

Weather: Hot and/or rainy.

Drift Factor: I was attentive throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No but it won the narrative feature prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 90 minutes