Birdman stars Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson, a washed up actor who is on a quest to re-ignite his once high career by starring in a Broadway play, which he wrote an adapted screenplay and is also directing. The days leading up to opening night, Riggan finds himself constantly struggling between dealing with his inner critic constantly reminding him about his glory days , trying to be a better father to his troubled daughter (Emma Stone), all while overcoming every obstacle presented in getting this play ready, including putting up with an over serious actor (Edward Norton) who just may be what Riggan needs for this play to succeed .
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, who took a chance when deciding to shoot this film as one continuous shot. This worked beautifully as you follow these characters through the process of trying to get this Broadway play to come together. Director Iñárritu took on a heavy task that relied on his actors remembering heavy amounts of dialogue, while being in the right place in time for the shot. The short amount of editing done to make Birdman look like one long take was done very well.
The performances all across the board are Grade A. Michael Keaton is at his best in this film (Oscar?), as he deals with his personal issues between his family and trying to reclaim his fame. Keaton himself was an A-List actor who once played a superhero, who has since taken a backseat in more recent films he’s been in. This makes seeing his Riggan Thomson character all the more interesting.
Edward Norton and Emma Stone, are both given the next most to do with their roles. Norton plays Mike Shiner, an accomplished talented actor who is welcomed into Riggan’s play only to later further complicate things. Norton gives a terrific performance, while mocking rumors about him being difficult to work with in Hollywood. Definitely one of his best performances. Emma Stone is great, especially when onscreen with these veteran actors. Playing Riggan’s daughter in the film, she shares one scene with him where she absolutely nails the emotional points in the conversation.
Another standout for me is Zach Galifianakis who plays Riggan’s best friend and lawyer. Being known for only comedic roles to me, he gave a surprisingly good performance in a heavy dramatic film. It goes to show once more than comedians can do well in drama films.
Can I also just say the soundtrack (specifically the drums) that plays as the camera follows these characters throughout the film I thought was just awesome. Things like that just make the film so much better. Birdman is a film that I highly recommend! Just a very well done film.
Birdman is given a 10/10 (applause)
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