Birdman (2014) – Film Review

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)

Starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

IMDB Rating: 8

Review written by Rachel Geiger

A weird yet artistic movie about a washed up actor who is making his comeback on Broadway. A creative story beautifully told through these star performances.

Riggan Thomas played the role of Birdman in a popular franchise decades before. Riggan is continually tormented by the voice of the old part he played. He attempts a comeback by writing, (adapting an already written piece) directing, and starring in a Broadway play. His daughter Sam (Emma Stone) is fresh out of rehab and acts as his assistant. He also has a crisis when he finds himself short a starring actor close to previews. He recruits seasoned actor Mike (Edward Norton) who he clashes with. Riggan will be faced with many challenges as he fights between his future and his past.

The story is a little bit out there considering Riggan thinks that he can fly and control things with his mind. In a way, this relates to the theme of loneliness and living in the past. The plot has it’s combination of both tragic and hilarious moments that make it worth the watch. The movie is filmed as if it were just one continuous shot which makes it more magical and unique. The characters all have subtle yet important little quirks that carry the story along.

Michael Keaton has played awesome roles such as Batman and Beetle Juice but this performance is easily the best of his career. Some critics argued that his performance was to close to his reality, like Riggan Keaton also played a popular superhero and both characters turned down reprising the role. Emma Stone also has a beautiful performance as Riggan’s daughter who is angry at her father for more or less abandoning her and her mother all of these years. She struggles with forgiving him and holding on to this longtime grudge. Edward Norton also has a great performance as Mike, an actor who fights frequently with Riggan but he also has many hilarious and witty scenes.

The director was rewarded the Oscar for Best Director for his work here and it’s not difficult to see why. The film is shot beautifully and the work is simple yet concise. It has a balanced mixture of both comedy and drama which Iñárritu brought to life in this film which he also wrote and produced. He did it all for this one and he was rightfully rewarded for his one of a kind work.

Birdman has it’s weird moments where you’re not really sure exactly what’s going on. But at the end of the day, it’s a clever and artistic film which deserved the Oscar for Best Picture. It is more relevant to those who are in the theatre world but everyone can get the humor and the sadness within the movie. The writing and acting is beautifully perfected. This is a unique and memorable film that you don’t want to miss!