Jean-Paul Rouve, Melanie Doutey, Louis Vazquez, Frederic Saurel
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In French family-drama Spread Your Wings, a father and his son work together to assist in the migration of an endangered species of wild geese. Inspired by a true story, the bizarre endeavour, which involves an unconventional plan to assimilate with the geese so they can redirect the gaggle’s dangerous migration path, echoes Mark Twain’s famous sentiments regarding ‘truth’ being ‘stranger than fiction.’
Carrying the film are marsh-dwelling naturist and wild goose expert Christian (Jean-Paul Rouve), and his tech-obsessed, staunchly urbanite young son, Thomas (Louis Vazquez). The distant duo, each harbouring their own frustration towards the other – the product of Christian’s intense dedication to his work (almost becoming of the family-genre), begin to mend their relationship over unlikely common-ground: goose conservation.
Christian’s hare-brained scheme to disguise as geese, adorned in all the necessary regalia and accompanying flying mechanisms, gives Spread Your Wings an intriguing premise. That said, the film, much like the gaggle of geese themselves, finds comfort migrating into family-friendly territory.
However predictable, director Nicolas Vanier (Belle and Sebastian) imbues the film with sincerity brought out in striking visuals (the majestic flight scenes are show-stoppers) and cracking performances. It is feel-good filmmaking that, aside from the occasional turbulence, manages to keep its head above the clouds.