There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
I Am Big Bird follows a blueprint that’s similar to Being Elmo, a 2011 Silverdocs selection: Both chronicle the lives and development of the puppeteers that created Sesame Street’s most iconic characters. But while Being Elmo has been overshadowed by performer Kevin Clash’s alleged sexual relationships with minors, I Am Big Bird follows 80-year-old performer Caroll Spinney, a reserved man who spends his time out of costume with his family and painting pictures of the large yellow avian in different settings. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t really tell a complete story; instead, it hones in on the sadder parts of Spinney’s life: his divorce, the death of Jim Henson, Spinney’s difficult relationship with his father, that time his groundskeeper murdered someone on his Connecticut estate. Leave the kids behind for this one—while they might like learning about the origins of Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird, the abundance of real talk makes this seemingly sunny story a very un-Sesame shade of gloomy.