“我起初以为《观鸟大年》会是年度最热闹的一幕剧。结果它只是漫不经心地请我看了美帝的风景和鸟,然后深情款款地灌了我一碗鸡汤。”智课外语郭老师如是说。

  当废柴联盟的身材担当杰克· 布莱克遇见喜剧白头翁史蒂夫· 马丁,当迷醉在《午夜巴黎》的欧文· 威尔逊遇上大器晚成的“谢耳朵”帕森斯,我起初以为《观鸟大年》会是年度最热闹的一幕剧。结果它只是漫不经心地请我看了美帝的风景和鸟,然后深情款款地灌了我一碗鸡汤。

  以Tomas早年关于男人是兽性和神性、女人是人性集合的(zhong)观(er)点(bing)来说,这么个谈人性、灌鸡汤的片子肯定在我的硬盘里活不过一分钟。但是近几年不知怎么回事,很没出息地泪点越来越低,估计是人性回归了,我还真挺喜欢这样的片子的。

  First and foremost,请大家先去看看影片结尾那些各种各样的鸟,woodpecker、sparrow、swallow、jay、warbler...看看认识几个?托福口语下次考搞不好就能碰到。

  再去看电影25分钟处关于Ruby-throat hummingbird迁徙的描述,然后老规矩,再翻开敬爱的TPO(tedious painful obscure?)软件的第三套题听力的第一篇讲座,或许你会知道电影中关于红喉蜂鸟的迁徙信息是如何获得的。最重要的,把第四题做对。

  别忘了,电影《观鸟大年》里还有贱贱男神Sheldon!!

  剧情简介&托福经典话题

  01/只有鸟友才懂,什么是为爱好奋斗

  “大年(big year)”是观鸟爱好者的一种竞赛,参赛者需要用一整年的时间和精力,记录自己在北美洲各地观察到的鸟类种类,种类最多者取胜。

  布莱德、斯图和肯尼就是三位铁杆观鸟爱好者。布莱德(杰克·布莱克 Jack Black 饰)是个一事无成的大龄宅男,因此决定花掉一大笔钱参加“大年”时,他父母觉得他疯了;斯图(史蒂夫·马丁 Steve Martin 饰)是一家大公司的总裁,所以当他决定放下手头百万生意,跑去参加“大年”,他助理觉得他疯了。此一老一少在竞争中相识,很快成为朋友,决定共同对付他们最强的对手——上一届“大年”的得胜者肯尼(欧文·威尔逊 Owen Wilson 饰)。只有鸟友才懂,放弃整整一年的事业和生活意味着什么,三个“鸟友”在大年中奋力竞争,最终要回头面对和承担的还是生活中的问题。

  02/每一个都十足珍贵

  观鸟活动劳民伤财,是对时间、金钱、体力、精力的极大耗费,更不必提为了观鸟所具备的丰富的地理、鸟类、气象等知识的学习成本。

  比如三位竞争者看到德克萨斯的风暴信息便预计墨西哥湾附近的鸟沉降,于是在几小时时间里飞往那里再租车飙到海湾看鸟;顶着西伯利亚风暴,住在缺乏基本生活设施的阿图岛(Attu)上呆一周;他们划船、骑车、乘坐直升机......如此取得的观鸟数量,每一个都十足珍贵。

  当Tomas看到布莱德骑着破自行车在北太平洋的荒岛上追逐鸟儿时疲惫而憨憨的笑容,听着《viva la vida》的旋律,Tomas瞬间想起了多年前高考结束后的那个脸上还没抬头纹的骚年,在从柴窝铺骑车回乌鲁木齐的下坡路上大喊着露出了上图所示的笑容。

  我还记得那时候他的手掌和屁股很颠,耳边净是带着夕阳余温的风。完成重大任务之后的轻松快乐是印象极深的。

  还是来看看托福写作中直至灵魂经典话题吧,Will people feel happier when they finish a challenging or difficult work?的高分段落:

  Throughout a person's lifetime, he has to undertake a large variety of tasks. It is from the completion of different work that makes him a responsible, useful and capable social being. Needless to say, everyone is entitled to feel happy whenever a piece of work is successfully finished. However,comparatively speaking, more happiness could be obtained if one manages to perform a challenging duty rather than an easy one. In the first place, self-approval and other's recognition could be the major sources of a person's happiness. To illustrate, when he manages to complete a formidable job, a strong sense of fulfillment will rise up and make him exceptionally honored and happy. On the other hand, if his unremitting efforts to combat challenges have been witnessed by others, they would undoubtedly look up to him with awe and respect. Through the eyes of the beholders, he further testifies his own glories. The praise and acknowledgement from others would definitely fill him with pride and joy. Indeed, the competence to make others convinced about one's individual qualities and values does not merely help him win honors from the public, but also brings about far-reaching happiness into his life.

  03/友谊的小船不会翻

  电影里斯图和布莱德的忘年交也格外有趣,一个是前呼后拥、家庭美满、孙子即将出生的CEO,一个是工作普通、父子关系紧张的奔四单身男。两人都对观鸟有着狂热的喜爱,慢慢随着剧情的推进变成了推心置腹的朋友,老到的CEO还不忘传授小兄弟liāo妹技能。

  当他们一起坐着直升机在山巅追逐snowy owl,在Christmas eve的大雨中欢快地拉着手小跑要坐船出海看鸟时,我想这样的友谊是最纯粹的,尽管他们的地位财富悬殊。对于友情,跟亲情一样,Tomas实在不觉得大家应该拿干巴巴冷冰冰的素材去应付考官和自己拥有(过)的伟大情谊,照搬素材不如没有素材。

  经典托福写作题目People who do not have the same interests cannot be friends?中的第一段让步仅作参考:

  First, there is no denying that people with the similar interests find it easier to become friends. To quote a well known proverb, "birds of a feather flock together." One of the major elements that sustain excellent human relations lies in extensive communication between people. In most cases,having a similar interest provides a good topic for discussion. As the two are familiar with it, an in-depth talk is more than likely. During the course of exchanging ideas,much can be gained and mutual understanding will be strengthened as well. In a sense, it paves the way for establishing stable friendships. Therefore, with the purpose of making friends, many people prefer to join various interest groups and clubs. It is in such places that the closest friends might be made. I encountered my best friend Melinda when we participated in an birding activity organized by a club in my university. Due to our common passion for bird, we always had much to share and finally became intimate friends.

  04/从三位观鸟人看众生相

  布莱德,三十六岁、离异、一无所有、是被父亲嫌弃的程序员,义无反顾地决定以全职雇员的身份参加“大年”,他在雨夜中在汽车后座吞下培根、睡觉,他思念着新识的女鸟友并用再合适不过的理由叨扰着她的整个夏天和秋天,他还修复了和父亲的隔阂。斯图,即将退休的、家庭美满的老富翁,在观鸟的航班日程中拼命塞进作为一个公司总裁的责任,在夏季的青葱原野上感到了自己观鸟激情的减退——他更加惦念着自己刚出生的孙子和家人。

  肯尼,骄傲的、自负的、不择手段的纽约中产,违背了自己对妻子不参加竞赛的诺言,为了观鸟离开了待产的妻子,在《友谊地久天长》的新年歌声中形单影只、脚步匆匆地迫近一个惊人的数字......观鸟大年,这一竞赛的目的已是竞赛,而不是观鸟本身。最纯粹的竞争者肯尼笑到了最后,并创造了史无前例的记录。然而生活不是只有竞赛和输赢——妻子不堪忍受他的薄情,两人离婚。在三位男主跟他们的妻子、前妻、女友、同事、父亲、母亲、上司、下属的来来往往、你你我我的众生相中,你有没有什么感触?

  来看看托福写作中叩问心底的经典题目:Is one's working more important than being with one's family? 的如下示例:

  In the first place, being with family is a happiness that far outweighs any successes achieved at work. Undeniably,nothing is more pleasing than cooking and dining with one's parents. Without doubt, one ought to treasure each day spent with family. Home encompasses the richest sources of happiness in one's whole life. For instance, a sense of fulfillment gained from taking the family out on an enjoyable journey around the country should be stronger than that gained from a fruitful but tiring business trip. Therefore, in spite of a tough workload, it is imperative to squeeze out enough time to do something with the family, whether it be watching TV comfortably in the sitting room or having a walk outdoors in a nearby park. Family union is a most common occasion but its value has exceeded any priceless treasure the world has ever boasted.

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