Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Reviews: Birdman

Warning, minor spoilers ahead.

Birdman (the unexpected virtue of ignorance)

Riggan Thomas (played by Michael Keaton) was once a major celebrity as the start of a major Hollywood Blockbuster Superhero Trilogy, Birdman. His films grossed millions at the box office and became part of a multi-billion dollar franchise that could have made several more films and billions of more dollars had he chosen to continue, but feeling type cast and stuck in a he turns down the opportunity to do Birdman 4. The film finds him twenty years later, in a world where relevancy seems to be judged on social media likes and viral videos hits, than talent so Riggan turns to the Broadway stage to find himself. He writes, directs, stars, and seemingly personally finances a play based on a short story written by Raymond Carver "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love."

The plot continues in a strange dark comedy featuring Riggan's recovery drug addict daughter, Sam (Emma Stone), his girlfriend and fellow actress Laura (Andrea Riseborough),  his lawyer/producer/best-friend, Jake (Zach Galifianakus) the insecure ingenue Lesley (Naomi Watts), and bad-boy Broadway veteran Mike (Edward Norton). The twist of this film is an art imitating life imitating art imitating life sort of moment as the reality of everything starts to become clear - or does it? Just when you think you've got everyone figured out, you are left with a sense of doubt and then it's over.

Overall, I found this film to be intriguing and tongue-in-cheek look at the world of Hollywood and the ever changing idea of fame, stardom, celebrity and true talent. An authentic chemistry existed amongst the entire cast drawing you into their crazy, raw, complicated world. I found the casting of a former Batman, to be especially clever given the plot and Emma Stone's performance as his daughter to be strangely perfect. I'd recommend this film and expect it to see some buzz in the upcoming award season.

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