Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

BirdmanA review by CJ Dee.

Riggan (Keaton) is a washed-up actor trying to make his mark on Broadway while repairing his relationship with his ex-wife and daughter (Stone). The play is threatened by critics, personal dramas between stars and the antics of prima-donna Mike (Norton). Meanwhile, Riggan is haunted by the ghosts of characters past, namely the superhero he played in his youth — Birdman.

I knew Michael Keaton would win the Golden Globe for Birdman because there was so much hype surrounding the film on the interwebs. Birdman hadn’t been released in Australia by the time the Golden Globes were announced so I hadn’t been able to personally experience the incredible performance. Keaton takes a role that could have come across as a tacky parody of his own life and owns it.

Edward Norton’s performance is very Edward Norton. He is stellar in his role as a masterful actor who, as a result, can be a difficult co-star.

The style of Birdman is unique. The gritty feeling is enhanced by the seamless transitions between scenes. Most of Birdman was filmed in one take and the transitions continue the illusion. You can spot the seams if you are really looking but otherwise the film is one continual movement.

The spiral through Riggan’s journey is a unique look at an ageing actor trying to regain the respect they once had. Highly recommended for viewers who enjoy films with an independent feel to them despite featuring some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

‘Truth is always more interesting.’

Rating: full starfull starfull starfull starfull star 5 out of 5 stars
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis
Running time: 119 minutes
Watch this if you liked: The Producers, All That Jazz