*The last paragraph expresses short analysis* Something must be wrong with the universe with having so many good movies come out at once. My mind can't handle the awesomeness. Speaking of awesomeness, we've got Interstellar, Big Hero 6, Gone Girl, and a plethora of other movie that I can talk about. None however, are actually all that awesome. They have their moments, and they don't have them. You know, no movie can be awesome all the way through. . .or can they?! Birdman is the answer (along with Nightcrawler from last week, but I digress).
I could talk in depth about the synopsis, but this perfect trailer will do the trick. Yes, I'm cheating; but this is probably my favorite trailer of the year, so I had to throw it in there somewhere.
So why should you see this movie? Um, well you probably can't as this film is in incredibly limited release. But – a big but at that – if you can see this movie in your home town, or if you have theatre relatively close in distance to see it, GO AND SEE IT!
Birdman is the best film of the year and I don't say that lightly. I have seen close to a hundred films in 2014, and there was only two other films that came out this year, Locke and Nightcrawler (http://www.celebrategeek.com/brandons-corner-locke-review-spoiler-free/, http://www.celebrategeek.com/brandons-corner-nightcrawler-review-spoiler-free), that I deemed warranted perfect scores. So why does this movie rise above the rest? Simply enough, there are more things right and more things that strive for perfection in Birdman than the following films. It is, quite honestly, a film buff's dream.
In terms of acting, you couldn't ask a film to be better. Michael Keaton, where have you been?! We've missed you. We need you. You are everything we need. Ok, I wouldn't go that far, but you get the point. This phenomenal actor has flown (pun intended) under the radar for too long. Talent like his, à la Bryan Cranston prior to Breaking Bad, shouldn't go unnoticed. Well, he is back in the spotlight and lets hope it stays that way. Out of all the great performances this year, which are stacking up as we speak, Keaton's is probably the most subtle and nuanced along with being balls-to-the-wall crazy – and the film asks you to recognize this. It is so meta/self referential in its execution that every line of the face, to every reference and emotion feels as if it doubles in meaning.
He is not alone though. Birdman is filled to the brim with phenomenal actors. The best of the bunch, probably/maybe because he had more screen time, is Edward Norton. I've always really liked the guy from Fight Club, American History X, Incredible Hulk, Moonrise Kingdom etc, but it is not until now that I realized how much I love him as an actor. Both from the depth of the script and his brilliant performance, we get one of the most layered supporting characters we have seen all year. His character is a jerk, or is he? He doesn't care what others think, or does he? His life is his acting – yes, well, maybe. I could say more, but you understand. The film plays out his character in the perfect way, being both intelligent and darkly comical in his complexities.
The rest is phenomenal and absolutely great in all their scenes - including Emma Stone, Zack Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, and what's her name (Andrea Riseborough) – but we don't have time to talk about all of them. What we can talk about how innately amazing this film deals with great, thought provoking issues. It superbly handles concepts of "redemption", "making it", the Hollywood System, the drawbacks of being an actor, and so much more. At first look it is easy to miss this because there is so much going on.
All of this hectic busyness is played out by the camera.THE ENTIRE FILM IS MADE TO LOOK LIKE ONE TAKE (well, 99%). Let me repeat myself for full effect – there is no cuts (none to the discernible eye at first glance that is) throughout the film. It is made to look as if you are floating around the stage, the street, anywhere Birdman and his character Riggan Thomson decide to wander around throughout the film. This ties in perfectly with the film's greatest theme, being noticed. Riggan Thomson, Keaton's character, is dying to be noticed, to be admired. Filming Birdman in this style accentuates to the nth degree. It is not only beautiful, but has meaning along with being phenomenally impressive.
I could go on. The music. . . The self referential comedy and all around humour. . . The ballsy move of laying the Hollywood and film system bare showcasing its strength and flaws. . . It's thoughts on theatre/movie critics and its insightful rebuttal to all the nonsense that I am writing down here. . . THEY ARE ALL SO GOOD. Needless to say, this is a great movie. The acting is absolutely superb in all departments, the story is as compelling as can be. Birdman is a perfect film. You might not hear me say that in a while, so appreciate it while you can. And for goodness sake, if you have a chance to go see this film, go see it.
Personal Preference 5/5
Critical Analysis 5/5