The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
"Fly Away Home” tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who solos in an ultralight aircraft to lead a flight of pet geese from Canada to the American South. Although her father optimistically describes this adventure as "safer than driving on the highway,” I think the statistics he's thinking of apply to scheduled commercial airlines, not to planes that come in a box and you put them together yourself.
As I was watching the film, I couldn't help thinking of little Jessica Dubroff, who was killed along with her father and her flight instructor while trying to fly across the United States. There are some eerie echoes, as Amy (Anna Paquin), the heroine of "Fly Away Home,” flies from Ontario to North Carolina without even using any maps. (Her briefing consists of her father marking pencil lines on charts while saying, "OK ... here's us ... and here's, like, Florida....”) And yet finally I had to put away such thoughts and embrace the movie for what it is, a splendid fantasy. As the story opens, Amy's mother is killed in a car crash in New Zealand (that nicely accounts for Oscar winner Paquin's accent). She goes to live with her father in Canada.
He's played by Jeff Daniels as a nutty inventor who sculpts dinosaurs, flies airplanes and gliders, and ended his marriage by insisting on building a full-scale model of the lunar landing module. ("Hey, the real one is still parked on the moon. So we need another one down here, right? Every home should have one. That's when you and your mom left. She thought I was crazy.”)
Amy is not long on the Ontario farm when bulldozers start to rip through the nearby woods. We know from other movies that bulldozers always mean cash-mad property developers, who want to pave paradise and put up a parking lot. Amy rescues some goose eggs from the carnage, incubates them in her dresser drawer, and soon has fluffy little goslings following her around the house.