Sunday, November 23, 2014

Birdman (USA, 2014)

Nine Things About the Movie Birdman

1. I admit I almost skipped this movie, because I couldn't figure out from the marketing what I was supposed to be going to see. So the biggest reason I went to see it is because of the director, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu. I've followed his career ever since Amores Perros.

2.  I'm very glad I took the chance with this movie. This is an acidic, melancholy comedy that takes on serious universal themes, while set almost entirely in a Broadway theater.

3. Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, a has-been Hollywood actor who, in a kind of pathetic attempt to make himself relevant again, decides to create a Broadway show. As the show gets closer to opening night, his mental stability deteriorates, and everything starts coming unhinged. People around him are forced to face their own insecurities and fears.

4. The movie is very cleverly edited so that it seems like most of it is filmed in one long, continuous camera shot.

5. While the entire cast is great, this might be Michael Keaton's best performance ever. He plays Riggan with just the right mixture of exhaustion, hope, cynicism and defeat.

6. There is a dash of magical realism that pops up from time to time, which may confuse some audience members. And I'm still not sure what to do with the ending.

7.  One of the themes of the movie is coming to the realization that in the grand scheme of things, you don't matter very much, if at all. Even if you do achieve some fame in this world, it's temporary and pointless anyway.

8.  Another theme of the movie is the eternal battle about creativity. Specifically, it illustrates the way that the Hollywood movie culture and the New York theater culture resent each other for having differing ideas about art and importance and relevance.

9. This is a very quirky, dark-hearted comedy that takes stabs all kinds of people. celebrities, and situations. And it's exactly that sharpness, as it slices up the characters, that lets the audience see that inside, we're all pretty much the same.