Brewster McCloud

Brewster McCloud ★★★★

A thoroughly offbeat and boldly unruly effort from Robert Altman; part dark comedy about an aviation obsessed killer supervised by a guardian angel, part zany procedural featuring a collection of witless lawmen and part ornithology lecture from a man who seems to be turning into a bird himself. Everything is glued together by the wacky sense of humour (which takes hold immediately with the opening credits literally restarting) and the sharp political satire that reflects the anxious condition of the United States at the time (impassive youths, moronic officials, dreamers brought crashing back to earth, etc.). All of the performances manage the difficult task of being eccentric without going overboard and make the characters memorable, from Bud Cort as the oddly endearing titular character to Shelley Duvall's racing driver tour guide to Michael Murphy's Bullitt wannabe cop.

Even though it can be a little too irreverent and messy at points, I'm willing to let most of it slide because there's so much playful absurdity and passionately creative filmmaking on display.

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