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The Hawk Is Dying
The Hawk Is Dying
Actor: Paul Giamatti; Rusty Schwimmer; Ann Wedgeworth; Michelle Williams; Robert Wisdom; Michael Pitt
Director: Julian Goldberger
Genres: Drama
UR     2007     1hr 46min

When stricken with a family tragedy george becomes obsessed with taming a wild red-tail hawk. In a tour-de-force performance he locks himself into a battle of wills with a fierce creature that would rather die than succumb...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Paul Giamatti; Rusty Schwimmer; Ann Wedgeworth; Michelle Williams; Robert Wisdom; Michael Pitt
Director: Julian Goldberger
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Strand Releasing
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 05/29/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"You've Got That Bird On Your Arm ~ Everything Needs Trainin
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 07/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"`The Hawk Is Dying' released in '05 is a small budget film that relies almost entirely on the talents of Paul Giamatti in the starring role to generate and sustain the prerequisite energy and focus to keep the audience entertained throughout.

Synopsis: Giamatti plays the part of George Gattling owner of a local auto custom shop and would be hawk trainer. His aspirations to train this wild spirited bird stems from a deep seeded desire to set himself apart from his lower, middle class existence and like the hawk rise above the normal scheme of things and feel alive and free for the first time in his life. When a loved one unexpectedly dies his need to accomplish his dream escalates and becomes a do or die situation for both him and his recently captured prey.

Critique: Yes, Giamatti has proven himself to be a superior actor and this role only further proves that point. However even an actor of his caliber can only do so much with a storyline primarily consisting of him with a bird of prey attached to his arm. The tale is obviously allegorical and the hawk symbolic of something beyond what is seen on the surface. I'm sure numerous deep thinking viewers will have a great time discussing the layers of meaning over expresso after watching. Bottom line, `The Hawk Is Dying' is worth one viewing, but that's about it."
Bizarre Obsessions
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Hawk is Dying"

Bizarre Obsessions

Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

Strand Releasing has a big hit on tap for us this summer and the release of "The Hawk is Dying" is sure to create an audience. The movie stars two time Academy Award nominee, Paul Giamatti who has quite a role here. He plays George Gattling from Gainesville, Florida who is unhappy and lonely. He details cars and lives with his sister, Precious who is also a malcontent and her mentally ill son, Fred (Michael Pitt). When Fred's dad deserted the family some twenty years earlier, George began to raise Fred. George has virtually no love life except for a casual sexual relationship with a young psychology student who could probably be his daughter.
George and Fred have one passion in common, the sport of kings, falconry. By training falcons and hawks, George feels a sense of the past that he thinks is nonexistent in the modern world. However whenever he attempts to train a bird, the result is death of the animal. George and Fred try to catch a hawk and while doing so ties his own fate to the fate of the bird. Hawks that are kept in cages will sometimes starve themselves to death rather than submit to being caught. In an attempt to find meaning in his life, George refuses to eat or drink until the hawk he has caught does.
As tragedy comes to the family, George's obsession with the hawk increases and he is so bent on taming the wild bird that he borders on insanity and he alienates and bewilders those around him. The hawk and man are at odds--as George locks himself into a battle of the will with the bird, the bird would rather die than give in.
The movie is based upon Harry Crews's semi-autobiographical novel which he published in 1973. We meet bizarre characters who drive themselves, by their obsessions, to the very limits of human experience. The compassion of the film as seen through George's determination to tame the hawk. This gives beauty and humor to the film as if George is one who marches to the beat of a different drummer. This obsession of George's pulls at the viewer and drags him into the film in a way I did not think was possible. Giamatti gives another Oscar caliber performance but he is not alone. The entire film is imbued with great acting by a superior cast. The movie moves you like few can do. Michael Pitt as the mentally challenged Fred gives a performance of sheer beauty and he rises to new heights in a supporting role.
The Hawk is Flying
Eric Belcastro | Bridgeville, PA United States | 06/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Hawk is Dying was an incredible movie - austere, honest, powerful, involving, dynamic, and real. Do yourself a favor, if you are into film that has artistic merit, watch this film."
A must for Harry Crews fans
J. L. Mackey, Jr. | 09/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Transferring a Harry Crews novel to the screen is no easy feat, but director/writer Goldberger and his cast and crew have done an admirable job here. Crews fans should take note that the DVD includes a revealing 20-minute interview with the author (recorded recently at his home in Gainesville) as well a brief excerpt from Gary Hawkins's fine documentary THE ROUGH SOUTH OF HARRY CREWS. A must for the true Crews devotee."