Sixteen-year-old James Whitman played by Lucas Jade Zumann, struggles to overcome anxiety and depression by seeking advice from Dr. Bird voiced by Tom Wilkinson. In his magical realism inspired world, James goes on a whimsical, but emotionally charged search to solve the mystery of the disappearance of his sister, after an altercation with their parents depicted by Lisa Edelstein, and Jason Isaacs. While James (Zumann) struggles to connect with his parents, he deals with the intense social anxiety of high school life while navigating first love with Sophie, portrayed by Taylor Russell – a precocious girl from school who has her own agenda and a boyfriend Martin that hasn’t quite learned to let go of her, brought to life by Chase Stokes. Our two lovestruck teens set out on a quest to find Jorie, finding themselves in what appears to be a cult of sorts, led by David Arquette (Scream series) as Xavier, and into the underbelly of NYC nightlife that makes James question every relationship in his life.
Based on the novel of the same title by Evan Roskos, the dramatic comedy follows the challenging, wild, and humorous life of sixteen-year-old James Whitman as we see him struggle to overcome anxiety and depression while seeking advice from Dr. Bird, an imaginary pigeon therapist. The film shines a much-needed light on mental illness, which many people are facing in today’s world – especially teenagers. The film’s director Yaniv Raz said, “I wanted to make a film which both contained and addressed the issue of mental health disorders, so that an audience could see through that lens, but was not explicitly the subject of the story.” Composer and singer Moby graciously allowed producers the use of his music to help tell the hero’s story, as he himself has shared awareness of anxiety. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets will be released on demand everywhere January 12th, 2021.