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The Hawk is Dying NR

3.5 out of 5 stars (17) IMDb 6.1/10

George Gattling's unsatisfying life is transformed by a family tragedy, sending him into a battle of the wills with a wild red-tail hawk.

Starring:
Paul Giamatti, Michelle Williams
Runtime:
1 hour, 47 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Julian Goldberger
Starring Paul Giamatti, Michelle Williams
Supporting actors Michael Pitt, Rusty Schwimmer, Robert Wisdom, Ann Wedgeworth, Mark Campbell, Ayana Rhoden, Taylor Simpson, John Hostetter, Steve DuMouchel, Katie Dixon, Veryl Jones, Karl Anthony, Marc Macaulay, Bob Lipka, P.J. Lalka, Erika Medina, Matthew Stanton, Safari
Studio Strand Releasing
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This movie is truly extraordinary, and the principal actor, who also starred in Big Fat Liar (Full Screen Edition) combines brilliant acting with a very capably trained hawk to provide one of the most satisfying 90 minutes of "tuning out" that I have enjoyed in some time.

Sure, this movie has every corney bit from the special child to the sexed up teen-ager to the idiot father that ran, but it kept my complete interest throughout. The hawk, and the man, came of age together, the man found love, and the hawk soared.

This is a GREAT movie.

Some others featuring animals as wildlife that I have enjoyed:
Dances with Wolves (Widescreen Edition)
The Edge
Black Beauty
The Snow Walker
A Man Called Horse
Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
***1/2

At what point, in a person's mind, does obsession finally turn to madness? That seems to be the question raised by "The Hawk is Dying," a grimly depressing yet strangely compelling film about a man possibly being pushed towards insanity by the bizarre, sudden death of the mentally retarded nephew he helped to raise.

The always intriguing Paul Giamatti plays George Gattling, a single man who lives with his sister and her teenage son near Gainesville, Florida. Gattling is determined to capture a wild hawk and train it to do his bidding, despite the fact that all his earlier efforts in that direction have resulted in tragic failures. After his nephew somehow drowns in his own waterbed when he is with a local prostitute (whom Gattling set him up with), Gattling begins to slip further and further into apparent madness, cutting himself off from family members and friends and becoming ever more obsessed with taming the hawk he has captured.

This is no easy film for the casual moviegoer to sit through. It is harsh, grim and depressing, and we're not always sure what the overall purpose of the film is at any given moment. Still, paradoxically, it is this very air of enigma, coupled with Giamatti'a bravura, tour-de-force performance, that most gives one reason to check the movie out. Giamatti is totally riveting as a man driven by an almost manic need to establish control over another living creature, even if that means relinquishing the hold on his own sanity a bit to do so. He receives superb support from Rusty Schwimmer as his good-hearted but dimwitted sister, and Michelle Williams as the prostitute strangely embroiled in the boy's mysterious death.
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1 Comment 8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Some of the reviews listed here are misleading. This film really had nothing to do with liberal propaganda or even politics at all. Which is one thing I like about it. I'm from the south, and the characters were spot on, almost hyper-realistic. What makes this film enjoyable is that it deals with common themes, death, animals, family, alienation, obsessiveness, and how these relate to the experience of meaningful relationships (that weren't necessarily scripted from Leave it to Beaver). It's also really funny at parts. Life fails to leave me extremely bored and in constant search of entertainment, and so I seldom lack the motivation to get a grasp on unsettling, personal experiences. The kind of which I enjoy recognizing in performances like this film. Equating existential perspectives with liberal propaganda does in fact display a very superficial understanding of film in general, so I'm cool with not doing that and ultimately being stereotyped in my reviews as unenlightened, and defensive of Christianity.

Giamatti is brilliant as usual. But this film was surprisingly good. Michelle Williams is gorgeous, pensive, brooding, and perfectly cast alongside Giamatti. The supporting actors were on-point and compelling. Indie director Julian Goldberg brought it all home. This film wanders and rambles, and veers from any sort of typical dramatic playbook, and somehow avoids getting lost in its own sentiment like so many other indie films unfortunately do. It's a careful, thoughtful, subtle film, and I'd include it among my all-time favorites.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The negative reviews of this film must be from people who know nothing about Harry Crews. Harry was still alive when this film was made. He has since left us, but I swear that his ghost is in this film.
The film captures the spirit of the book. Paul Giamatti's performance is unforgettable. The hawk's performance is unforgettable, too.
Harry Crews' young son drowned in the 1960's. There is no doubt that Harry wrote this book to deal with his grief.
I spent a day with Harry in the last year of his life. As grotesque and profane as his books are, the man had a heart of gold, an he was actually very sentimental. Yes, sentimental. He just wrote the truth--the truth of what he saw growing up poor in the south.
This is one of the best films I have ever seen. It must have been one hell of an experience for the actors, knowing that they were involved in great art. The Gainesville, Florida setting is perfect (including the beautiful Payne's Prairie State Park), The direction, cinematography, and acting are stellar. This is just great cinema. and it's a heartfelt tribute to Harry Crews, one of America's greatest writers.
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