I Want to Fly with “Birdman”

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

“Birdman” was one of the best films I have seen in an incredibly long time. It is a film that I may have to see again not only because I want to but because I feel that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu deserves to have as much money thrown at him as possible for making this film. I should really say that no only does he deserve recognition, rather, that anyone loosely associated with this film deserves recognition. In the age of franchises, sequels, and blockbuster explosions, “Birdman” tells an original story and it is a movie that will be spliced, discussed, and examined for years to come. If you consider yourself a cinaphile, watch this movie.

“Birdman” tells the story of Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton), an aging actor who left Hollywood because he no longer wanted to continue making Birdman films and decided, instead, to adapt and start in a Raymond Carver story titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The film begins a few nights before the show previews and Riggan must find another actor to replace a pivotal character. Lucky for him, Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) is free and has been rehearsing with Lesley (Naomi Watts) who also stars in the production. Because of this, Shiner knows all of the lines and comes with Broadway experience that equally frustrates and amazes Riggan. As the movie continues, the viewer finds from Riggan’s attorney Jake (Zach Galifianakis) that everything that Riggan has is on the line for this film, that Riggan’s relationship with his daughter Sam (Emma Stone) is severely strained, and that his lover Laura (Andrea Riseborough) may be pregnant.

This entire story is shown utilizing, basically, a single shot. There are some scenes where some craft editing is done, but with the utilization of a handheld camera, the story unfolds in a raw fashion, where the viewer feels closer to the characters and the characters themselves appear real. It was a fantastic movie, shots and interactions of which gave me chills.

Edward Norton is Mike Shiner. There appears to be no instance in which he broke from that character and his interactions with Emma Stone and Michael Keaton are fantastic. His monologues discussing the difference between Hollywood and Broadway will be quoted and studied for many years following this film.

I have no idea where Keaton pulled whatever he pulled to make this film, but he did it and he is unrecognizable. Seriously. It is a fairly meta film, he did play Batman as we all know, but the scenes when he goes on stage and when he begins to question his decision regarding this play, are Oscar-worthy.

The award winning part of this film, is the cinematography. I haven’t seen all of the presumed Oscar contenders, BUT, this film deserves the award for its cinematography. Some of the shots were set up so superbly and left me astounded as to how Inarritu did it.

This move set the standard for filmography and story telling and it something everyone needs to see and directors need to strive to create films as good as “Birdman”

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