Release Date: March 30th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by Strand Releasing.
The Cast: Paul Giamatti, Michelle Williams, Robert Wisdom, Rusty Schwimmer, Ann Wedgeworth, Michael Pitt.
Directed by Julian Goldberger.
BASIC PREMISE: George (Giamatti), an auto upholsterer, becomes obsessed with taming a hawk after his nephew, Fred (Pitt), drowns.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Hawk is Dying has bland characters and lacks a compelling, imaginative plot. George lives with his sister, Precious (Schwimmer), her mentally challenged son, Fred, and a young psychology student, Betty (Williams). The brief first act doesn’t establish a strong enough bond between George and Fred, so, the scene when he finds Fred dead feels less powerful. Other characters such as Precious and Betty also seem dull and forgettable. It turns out that George would rather spend time with a wild red tailed hawk tied to his arm rather than interact with his family. Writer/director Julian Goldberger spends too much time, though, showing seemingly endless, meandering scenes of George trying to tame his hawk. The camera shakes too often during these scenes, which feels quite nauseating. Although Paul Giamatti gives a strong performance as George, he simply doesn’t have enough material to work with to stand out. George simply comes across as an annoying, eccentric individual without any truly redeeming qualities—he’s not good or bad; just bland. At a running time of 106 minutes, The Hawk is Dying overstays it welcome.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Bland characters and a meandering plot.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 8
IN A NUTSHELL: Paul Giamatti’s strong performance doesn’t compensate for a meandering plot with bland characters.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "H" Menu