Birdman  is the critically acclaimed dark comedy and drama (directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu) which presents washed-up actor Riggan (Michael Keaton) in and around his new debuted Broadway play.
Quality casting. Time and time again, usually big names attached to movies tend to hinder a film's credibility, merit and sometimes ends in disaster (ala Movie 43). Then there are movies that are the exception, the cinematically exceptional Birdman. The actors fit their roles like hands to a glove. Michael Keaton, largely known from his widely released Batman  is Riggans. Edward Norton plays Mike, acutely intense stage actor. In some circles, Edward Norton is rumored to be every bit as intense and committed to his role (ahem…allegedly). Norton is charismatic and Keaton is sympathetic. Of course, special mentions go to Emma Stone (Riggan’s daughter, Sam), Amy Ryan (ex-wife of Riggan) and Naomi Watts (the female lead of the play, Lesley).
An ideal marriage of style and substance. As you are probably aware, Birdman is shot in one continuous take. Instead of limiting the audience, Alejandro González Iñárritu creates enough realism to transport us into the screen without boring us to death with it. Truly captivating, the visual style is only aided by the score comprising of drums and several pieces of superbly selected classical music. Special effects are used sparingly, and with purpose. Riggans inner monologue (or ‘mental formation’) is the husky-voiced superhero Birdman (sounds just like a certain famous bat superhero…) presents his state of mind. The substance lies in the dialogue. It’s fresh, hilariously written in its dark comedy and poignantly real to life in its drama. Birdman is meta. It's a film that uses the backdrop of Hollywood to examine something that's universal: striving to receive validation and the lengths we go to satisfy the ego.
A brilliant film with immense intellectual and artistic merit.
Related: The film Birdman is featured on Borrowing Tape's "Best Films of 2014" list.
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Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)