The Hairy Bird

Watch The Hairy Bird

"Get ready for a radical education."
  • PG-13
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 37 min
  • 6.6  (7,496)
  • 60

The Hairy Bird is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film, set in the late 1960s, that centers around the lives of a group of teenage girls attending an all-girls Catholic high school called Miss Godard's Preparatory School for Young Ladies. Kirsten Dunst portrays the rebellious, free-spirited character of Verena von Stefan, Lynn Redgrave plays Miss McVane, the school's conservative headmistress, and Gaby Hoffmann takes on the role of a lesbian student named Mouse.

The film begins with Verena's first day at Miss Godard's, where she quickly realizes that the school's strict rules and rituals are not for her. She forms a bond with Mouse, who introduces her to a group of girls referred to as "The Daughters of the American Ravioli." The group consists of misfits and outcasts, including a girl who insists on speaking in a British accent and another who suffers from constant nosebleeds.

Along with their eccentricities, Verena and the other girls also share a strong sense of rebellion against the school's outdated traditions and the suffocating expectations placed upon them by society. They form a feminist group called F.A.T. (Feminist Action Team) and set out to challenge the school's all-male choir, which has always been given more opportunities and resources than the girls' choir.

As Verena and her friends strive for equality and recognition, they face opposition from both Miss McVane and some of the school's more conservative students. The clash between the girls and the authority figures at the school ultimately reaches a boiling point, leading to a hilarious and heartwarming finale.

The Hairy Bird deals with various themes, including feminism, teenage rebellion, and the pressures of conforming to societal norms. The film's strong feminist messaging is refreshing and relevant, even over 20 years after its release. Along with the comedic moments, the film has its fair share of emotional scenes, particularly as Verena struggles to come to terms with her mother's departure and her father's subsequent relationship with his new girlfriend.

The film's impressive ensemble cast is led by Kirsten Dunst, who shines as the film's rebellious protagonist. Lynn Redgrave offers a nuanced portrayal of the conservative headmistress, who is trying to uphold tradition while grappling with her own insecurities. Gaby Hoffmann's portrayal of Mouse is layered and authentic, and the chemistry between her and Dunst is one of the film's highlights.

The Hairy Bird is a heartwarming and entertaining film that manages to tackle serious issues while still retaining a sense of humor. It is a nostalgic look back to a time when teenage rebellion was at its peak and the fight for equality was just beginning. The film's strong message about the importance of female empowerment and standing up against oppression makes it a must-watch for anyone interested in feminist cinema.

The Hairy Bird
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 37 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (7,496)
  • Metascore