Washed up actor Riggan Thomson, played by Michael Keaton, is trying to reestablish himself as an actor, writer, director in his debut play on broadway.
The transitions are weird, the camera is floaty, and the the lighting is dark, but let me say….awesome! This may not be what you were thinking when heard the name Birdman. In a recent barrage of superhero movie releases, when I heard the name Birdman, I thought “ok…off the mainstream character coming to life, this should be cool!” Made sense right? Well…let’s get into the movie.
Real life history: The Birdman character that first appears in a Daredevil comic book back in 1965.
Movie: They created a Birdman 3 part movie series, played by Riggan Thomson. After 20 years he’s randomly recognized by now aging fans, and he’s desperately afraid of becoming a nobody. Michael Keaton has had some great roles, who can forget Beetlejuice, Multiplicity, Batman, my personal favorite Mr. Mom, and for you younger folks, Jack Frost. Even with 70+ roles under his belt, nothing compares to his acting in Birdman. His personal struggle with his attempts to seperate himself from his previous role as Birdman, includes schizophrenic episodes involving the Birdman character. Think, Beautiful Mind, the actor version.
Joining him in the movie is Ed Norton playing Mike, an actor on the play and is amazing in this movie. I’m always happy with Ed Norton as an actor, but he went all out in this movie. Ed Norton’s portrayal of asshole, self-indulged actor Mike is spot on. There’s something to be said about typecasting…it works. The question you start to ask about typecasting, especially when thinking about Ed Norton being a self-indulged prick, is that how he is in real life, or is it that he’s played that role so often it’s just natural. Ed Norton wasn’t the only one who went all out on this movie, almost everyone did an amazing job.
Did you know that Zach Galifianakis is a good actor? Neither did I! But guess what, he was amazing. He’s doesn’t have a bunch of lines in Birdman, but man does he come alive with the line has. Zach plays Jake, the lawyer to Riggan Thompson. So we’ve got Zach Galifianakis, playing a lawyer, in a movie about a play…..yeah…it’s different than what we’re used to from him, and to be honest, I’d like to see more of it.
Emma Stone plays Sam, the formerly drug addicted daughter of our star Riggan. Clearly having daddy issues, but still very helpful. She has a very passionate conversation with her dad where she gets to stretch her acting muscles. For some reason, every time I look at Emma Stone, I see her dancing to “Pocket full of sunshine”, hard to get over certain people in certain roles.
If you’re thinking Birdman is another superhero film, with loads of action, big gun shots, and crazy villains, this is NOT that movie. But if you’re looking to watch a movie with amazing acting, an addictive storyline, and a surprise ending, get to the theaters now and watch Birdman.
Cinematography: 8 of 10….Not a huge fan of the floaty, wobbly camera thing that they’ve got going on in a few scenes, but overall decent.
Story: 10 of 10….WOW! It’s NOTHING that I expected, but it was great.
Flow: 10 of 10…..It moved right along, my attention was on the screen the entire time.
Acting: 10 of 10…..Everyone did an amazing job, seriously! .
Overall: 10 of 10 – I don’t care about the floaty camera thing on a few scenes, I won’t let that 8/10 hold me back from saying this movie was great, FAR better than I expected!
Trailer provided by FoxSearchlight