Title: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone
Runtime: 1 hr 59 mins
What It Is: Formerly a movie super hero called Birdman Riggan Thomson is trying to gain back some credability as an actor. To do so he’s taken to Broadway! But there’s something distinctly off about Riggan he seems to have some of ability, almost telekenetic. When his leading actor is injured in an accident onstage he and his lawyer/producer/bestfriend Jake (Zach Galifianakis) must scramble to find a replacement. Luckily their leading lady Lesley knows just the guy. An actor whose reputation isn’t sterling, despite his savant-like skill. When that actor named Mike Shiner (Norton) shows up will he pull it out and perform or will this Shiner prove to be a black-eye on the whole production.
What We Think: Good diety above that’s a well made film. Inarritu steps out of his traditionally more gritty cinematography stylings and instead shoots this thing in a way that makes it look like one giant 2 hour tracking shot. I’m pretty sure somewhere Alfonso Cuaron is crying at the beauty of the tracking shot(s). That’s a huge task all your actors have to know what they’re doing and they have to do it. Considering that it makes the caliber of performances in this that much more impressive. Michael Keaton should most certainly be in the discussion for Best Actor when the nominations come out. Edward Norton may get a nomination for Suporting Actor, but it is Emma Stone who might actually take home a gold fella for Supporting Actress. She’s a revelation, and for all the praise (deservedly so) going to Keaton let’s highlight Stone who many forget has already been nominated for a Golden Globe (for Easy A) a trophy she might just win this year.
Our Grade: A+, Through a skilled hand this film brings to light everything most certainly right with cinema in the 21st century. It does this while simultaneously shining a light on everything wrong with both the movie industry and the art of the critique. For the record Riggan’s assesment is pretty spot on. But the thing the film does it point out that underneath all the shiny superhero mega-gloss lies a person. One who may have issues within them they cannot fight, cannot beat. And it is these problems that turn angels to demons. You hope Riggan can fight the Birdman identity to perhaps uncover his own ipseity.