Cert: 15 Runtime: 119 mins Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifinakis, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan and Naomi Watts
Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has a great reputation as a filmmaker. Birdman is his latest feature after Biutiful from 2010, this is a completely different film. Birdman has grabbed my attention since I saw the first trailer, it seemed special. After reading a lot of interviews and articles it even made me more interested, mainly the pairing of Inarritu and Emmanuel Lubezki the fact that Birdman is shot in a continues sequence made this film very special. So what is Birdman about? Not so long ago, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) was flying high as the star of the Birdman superhero movie trilogy. But now he’s desperate to gain some credibility with a make-or-break stage adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. It’s produced by his long-suffering friend Jake (Zach Galifianakis). Among the cast are his girlfriend Laura (Andrea Riseborough), film star Lesley (Naomi Watts) and insufferably egotistical method actor Mike Shiner (Edward Norton). To add to Riggan’s woes, he’s hired his embittered, recovering addict daughter Sam (Emma Stone) as an assistant. As things go from bad to worse, he’s even mocked by Birdman himself!
Michael Keaton is nothing but phenomenal! He was born to play Riggan Thompson aka Michael Keaton, they both have been in the cinematic abyss because of their most famous roles that being Batman. We really don’t know what Keaton was feeling after playing the dark knight, but it’s evident he has transferred his emotions from reality. This has helped Keaton during his process, this surely is his year to win an academy award. The supporting roles were also electric, Edward Norton has played a lot of characters but Mike is his best since Fight Club. Basically Mike is Norton maybe not as pretentious but he is known for being a bit of a dick. Supporting Actor nomination is a must, a win hopefully.Emma Stone was just great as good as she was in The Help, she was very deep and amazingly provoking. Zach Galafinakis and Naomi Watts also were on great form, across the board it’s one of the best cinematic ensembles I have ever seen.
The real pull is how intensely immersive this film is in creativity, imagination, performance and technical excellence. After winning an Academy Award for last year’s Gravity, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is back with more wizardry by shooting the entire film in one continuous take; Seamless digital binding, yes, but otherwise impossible to achieve conventionally. And bolstering the pace is some fantastic music from composer Antonio Sanchez who uses just percussion instruments with perfect timing. That Iñárritu ends the film with ambiguity could be received with mixed reactions. Like Christopher Nolan before, Iñárritu leaves it open to interpretation and that’s always a good thing when giving a film a long lasting impression. Thoroughly entertaining with endless hilarity, both slapstick and dark, Birdman plays on cinema’s artistic merits while simultaneously condemning it’s contamination through commercialisation. To this effect there’s a mini action scene dedicated to the kind of profound stupidity found in a Michael Bay film. Another shot of a meteor plummeting to Earth speaks volumes about the death of stardom and the birth of insanity.