Paulie

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Paulie
Paulie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Roberts
Produced by Mark Gordon
Gary Levinsohn
Allyson Lyon Segan
Written by Laurie Craig
Starring Jay Mohr
Tony Shalhoub
Gena Rowlands
Hallie Eisenberg
Cheech Marin
Bruce Davison
Trini Alvarado
Narrated by Jay Mohr
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Edited by Bruce Cannon
Production
company
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures
Release dates
Running time
94 minutes
Country Germany
United States
Language English
German
Budget $28 million
Box office $26,875,268[1]

Paulie is a 1998 Germany/American adventure fantasy film about a disobedient bird named Paulie, starring Tony Shalhoub, Gena Rowlands, Hallie Eisenberg, and Jay Mohr. Mohr performs the voice of Paulie and also plays a minor on-screen character.

Plot[edit]

The film is a picaresque tale about an intelligent talking blue-crowned conure named Paulie, and his long quest to return to his owner.

Misha Belenkoff (Tony Shalhoub), a Russian immigrant former teacher of literature lives in America and working as a janitor at an animal testing lab. At the lab, Belenkoff encounters Paulie and is shocked to see Paulie speaking fluent English. Subsequently, Paulie does not speak a word when Belenkoff brings others to witness the talking bird.

Belenkoff woos Paulie to tell his story by offering him pieces of mango. Paulie tells Belenkoff about his master, a little girl named Marie (Hallie Eisenberg) who was a stutterer. The story transitions to a flashback scene in which Paulie is a baby bird. As Marie learns to speak, so does Paulie, beginning with understanding the meaning of words and progressing to the construction of complex sentences. Marie's father (Warren, played by Matt Craven), a soldier, returns home from Vietnam and decides that Paulie is not helping Marie. The father's resentment of the close bond between Paulie and Marie, and their shared progress in speech development is evident.

It becomes obvious that he wants Marie to forget Paulie, when the father brings her a cat. The cat and Paulie don't get along. Once again, Warren blames Paulie for Marie's speaking problems and believes she has imagined Paulie's ability to speak. Eventually after a dramatic event in which Marie falls off the roof in an attempt to teach Paulie to fly, Paulie convinces Marie's mother (Lila, Laura Harrington), to send him away.

Paulie is passed from one owner to another, eventually ending up in a pawn shop, where he spends his time insulting the customers until he is purchased by a widowed artist named Ivy (Gena Rowlands). She befriends the bird and agrees to find Marie, who has moved across the country to Los Angeles. Ivy loses her sight and Paulie decides to stay and take care of her. After Ivy dies, Paulie, having finally learned to fly, continues his journey.

In East Los Angeles, Paulie joins a group of performing conures owned by Ignacio (Cheech Marin), but later begins a life of crime after being kidnapped by Benny (Jay Mohr). In a botched jewel theft, Paulie flies down through the chimney of a house, where he is trapped inside, then abandoned.

Paulie is then brought to the institute, his current home, where employees and scientists are stunned by his intelligence. They subject him to testing, and promise that he will be reunited with Marie. When Paulie discovers that he has been lied to by way of his acquisition as institute property, he refuses to cooperate with any more tests. As a result, his wings are clipped, and he is imprisoned in the basement.

Moved by Paulie's story, Belenkoff decides to give up his menial job to release Paulie and take him to Marie. After escaping from the institute and taking a bus to her address, they find her, now a full grown, beautiful young woman (Trini Alvarado) unrecognizable to Paulie. After a moment of confusion, Paulie and Marie are happily reunited as Marie sings Paulie's favorite song and he remembers her. The film ends with the three characters happily entering the house.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Directed by John Roberts and written by Laurie Craig,[2] the film's production budget was $23 million.[3]

Reception[edit]

The movie Paulie scored a 6.2/10 rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[4] It was distributed in 24 countries and 10 different languages between 1998 and 1999.[citation needed] Box office receipts grossed $5,369,800 on the opening weekend, and $26,875,268 total.[5] It was released in 1,812 North American theaters.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Result
ALMA Award Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film - Cheech Marin Nomination
ALMA Award Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film - Trini Alvarado Nomination
BAFTA Children's Award Best Children's Feature Film Won
Bronze Gryphon Early Screens - John Roberts Won
Young Artist Award Best family feature - Comedy Nomination
Young Artist Award Best performance in a feature film - Young Actress aged ten or under - Hallie Kate Eisenberg Nomination
Young Artist Award Best performance by a young actress in a comedy film - Hallie Kate Eisenberg Nomination

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Box Office Mojo". IMDB.com. 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Paulie (1998)". imdb.com. imdb.com. 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "PAULIE". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  4. ^ "Paulie (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster, Inc. 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Angels Stays Aloft in Top Spot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 

External links[edit]