Birdman (2014)

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, (based on story by) Raymond Carver

Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifinakis, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts.

Somewhat forgotten movie star Riggan Thomson (Keaton) is trying to bring a Broadway play to life, but is having issues with one of his new cast members (Norton) who is increasingly difficult to work with. Riggan is also having family issues with his daughter Sam (Stone), and his own personal insecurities that involve his most famous movie character, Birdman – who has been both talking to him, and appearing to him.

Absolutely amazing feat of directing from Iñárritu, who scored an Academy Award for his work, with the film taking place in mostly one shot. There are ‘some’ cuts, when it goes from one day to the next, but for the most part there are almost no cuts or edits of any kind.

Keaton is at possibly his career best here as the former star of the masked vigilante Birdman, a parody of the character that Keaton himself is famous for.  His desire to be recognized as an artist, not just a celebrity is hampered by those around him, including himself.

Norton too plays a parodied version of himself in Mike, who is extremely difficult to work with. He does a great job here, but I would not say this is a ‘career best’, as he has proven himself to be a tremendous talent, despite the rumours of his behaviour behind the scenes. He has done better work in movies such as American History X amongst others.

The only real downs I can think of are the underuse of some of the supporting cast like Watts and Ryan. Even Galifinakis feels a little underused and he is given second billing. There are some CGI scenes that feel a little low quality too, but these are really just me being overly critical.

I can understand why this won 4 Oscars, and think it deserved more.



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