Birdman or The Unexpected Virtues of Ignorance is such a good movie that it really shouldn’t have been. It’s story of an actor tying to put on a play that has problems isn’t anything new. But the way it’s shot and presented is something quite different. In an age where actors are constantly changing from big franchises to Oscar bait material is something that has a lot of relevance today. I couldn’t think of a proper way to write a standard review, but I wanted to list a few reasons on why you should head to the theater to watch this right away.
5. The Return of Michael Keaton
That’s not really fair to say because the man has been active in movies for several years. However this is the first time he has been the lead character in a movie since Jack Frost back in 1998(the family version not the horror one). It’s also marks his return in sorts to playing a super hero again. Keaton’s role as Riggan. an actor who wants to be taking more seriously I’m sure had some truths based on events in the past. After all, he did play the caped crusader alongside Jack Nicholson back in 89 when Batman was released. After it’s sequel, Keaton dropped out and hasn’t really appeared in another franchise until Toy Story 3 in 2011. The problems his character faces are ones I’m sure a lot of other actors at one point or another have gone through. The choice to be known as a good actor or be remembered for a popular character is the difficult balance that many face in their career.
4. The Look and Feel.
Everyone and everything seems to be moving non stop throughout this entire feature. There are hardly any pauses as the movie takes on the appearance that it was all done in one take. Cinematographer Emannuel Lubezki(Gravity) and editors Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione (21 Grams) do a fantastic job at keeping the pace running smoothly. Without removing any important plot points.
3. The Sound and The Fury.
Since the feature moves at a quick pace. It needs a musical score that can help match the visuals. Antonio Sanchez’s all drum score does all that and more. A soundtrack with just one instrument had the potential to be repetitive and I thought the movie would suffer because of it. After watching the movie, you see that the drums are a big part of how Riggan acts. When he is not alone with his thoughts and has to conduct business. The drums are soft and very calm like. But when things go wrong and he is racing from one end to the other. The drums are very frantic and intense just like his mind set. They become a character just like the Birdman persona that he speaks to on occasion.
2. The Supporting Cast.
A lead actor is only good if he has the right cast members to back him up and in this one. Everyone is a winner. Edward Norton is hysterical as Mike. A successful actor who is way too method about how he performs to the point that he will actually get drunk and try to physically have sex with a co star on stage if it is mentioned in the script. The role of Riggan’s daughter Sam played by Emma Watson brings a lot of heart as she herself is battling her own demons. There are some great moments with Amy Ryan who plays Riggan’s ex wife Griffan. Zach Galifianakis and Naomi Watts are great and bring a lot of laughs as Brandon and Lesley who are his manager and fellow cast member.
1. An Unlikely Comedy.
Director Alejandro González Iñárritu has never been a name associated with comedy. His other movies such as 21 Grams and Babel have all been real hard hitting dramas that feature characters who are going through a lot of things I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Switching gears and doing a comedy shows that he has the ability to do different things. Yet calling it a comedy wouldn’t be right. There are a lot of laughs but Iñárritu wants to have you believe that these are real people despite their caricatures that they present to their audience. Actors I feel have to lead many different lives. There is the character that they play on screen. The persona that is used for interviews and award shows. Then there is the one that has to be a lover, a parent, a friend and just a basic human being. That has gotta be somewhat stressful especially if that is your life 24/7. If you are on top after doing a string of successful flicks and then want to do something more personal. You run the risk of being hated by your fans and your peers. Your fans because they feel like you have betrayed them for not doing another movie with a character they have grown to love. Your peers will hate you because they only can see you as the one thing you got famous for and they will not consider you as a serious actor. The comedy lies in all the wild antics it takes for Riggan to put this play together, but the drama is about what kind of effect it will have on him as a person.
What do you think of my reasons to watch this flick? Do you agree or disagree with this list.