Bird People

People are just like birds, this French drama asserts—over and over again, with mind-numbing obviousness, until you might feel like spreading your wings and flying away yourself. The opening sequence shows various riders on a commuter train, their flitting thoughts supplied in voice-over; this gives way to the story of a Silicon Valley executive (Josh Charles), in Paris on business, who decides to quit his job, leave his wife and kids, and start over in Europe. (“I can’t do this anymore!” is his oblique, endlessly repeated explanation.) There’s a long, grueling Skype showdown between him and his embittered and incredulous wife (Radha Mitchell) that begins to ground the story in human detail, but then writer-director Pascale Ferran (Lady Chatterley) drops the executive and veers into pure whimsy, with a hotel maid (Anaïs Demoustier) who dreams she’s a bird, soars over the city, and eavesdrops on various people. In French with subtitles.