Sundance 2024 Film Review: Every Little Thing

Serene footage of hummingbirds mid-flight make Every Little Thing worth screening. The story of the woman who cares for these adorable creatures is another good reason to see it.

We first meet Terry Masear while she is driving a young bird she named Wasabi to her Los Angeles home/hummingbird rehab for injured and orphaned birds. Along with rehabilitating, raising and eventually releasing the birds, we learn she operates a hummingbird hotline for anyone who finds an injured bird. Other hummingbirds we meet in the film include Jimmy, the Sidney Twins and Cactus, who earned the name after being injured by coming too close to a cactus.

Viewers walk away from Every Little Thing with plenty of hummingbird trivia: They can flap their wings over 50 times per second and fly vertically, backwards and upside down. There are multiple species, and adult males will attack younger males they see as competition for finding mates.

While you’re treated to that sweet, serene, slowed-down imagery of the birds flying, and it’s heartwarming to see Masear tenderly treat each bird’s ailment, the film has its controversies.  

At one point, Masear loses it when she believes someone who found one of the birds she took in lied to her after she discovers sugar water coating its wings—a possible death sentence for the little birds. Lying, she says, happens all the time, and she sees through it. She also, understandably, vents her frustrations over humanity’s lack of respect for wildlife overall.

We learn about Masear’s sad childhood, her wild college days and how she began caring for birds. And we learn about Frank, her late husband of 32 years. While Masear leads an interesting life and channels troubling parts of her past into caring for hummingbirds today, the birds themselves are most memorable in this film.

You can learn more about them in Masear’s memoir, Fastest Things on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood.

Every Little Thing, written and directed by Sally Aitken, is in the 2024 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Competition.


Jan. 22, 5:45 p.m., Redstone Cinemas, Park City 
Jan. 23, 5:45 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinemas, SLC 
Jan. 25, 1 p.m., Holiday Village Cinemas, Park City

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Jaime Winston
Jaime Winston
Jaime is a contributing writer for Salt Lake magazine. Formerly, he served as our editorial intern, then as our assistant web editor, and, finally, as our web editor. While he covers many different topics, he is especially interested in nerdy entertainment, from FanX's artist alley to Sundance's Midnight screenings.

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