|I literally have nothing to say.|
|I still have nothing to say. All I'm thinking about it what I'll make for dinner once I've|
written this review.
I feel like Birdman is going to be a bit of a marmite film: a lot of people are going to really enjoy it and a lot of people are really going to dislike it. Personally, I really enjoyed it. The main cast is incredibly strong and every single member receives a moment (or more) to shine. Keaton leads the ensemble with a performance that, without question, is made all the more interesting given his own experience as a former A-list superhero actor. Emma Stone is raw and real as Riggan’s daughter-turned-PA Sam, fresh out of rehab and keen to explain to her previously absent father his overwhelming hypocrisy regarding his (semi-obsessive) desire to remain current and still relevant in this world, but will openly mock Twitter and makes no effort to hide his hatred of Facebook. Edward Norton is Mike Shiner, an arrogant creep of a movie actor called in at the last moment to help boost ticket sales, whilst Riggan is still blinded by Shiners incredible acting skills and it has not yet dawned on him that hiring this intense method actor might not be in his best interest.
|Maybe I'll make pasta bake.|
I must also give a shout out to the supporting ladies of Birdman as well; Andrea Riseborough as Laura and Naomi Watts as Lesly, the two leading ladies in "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love", Riggans Broadway debut, Amy Ryan as the ex-wife Sylvia and Lindsey Duncan as the venomous theatre critic Tabitha all did fantastic jobs, though their roles were fleeting. Brief mention to Zach Galifranakis, who at first was unrecognisable (at least to me anyway) as the down to earth, voice of reason, best friend and lawyer Jake. Since my only exposure to Galifranakis as an actor is through the Hangover franchise, it was refreshing to see him as ... well, anything other than that character.
|Maybe I'll just buy a pizza.|
The difference between Birdman and probably (I'm saying probably because who am I to definitively say all the other films when I haven't seen them all, and because y'all will prove me wrong, smartasses.) all of the other films that are out right is that Inarritu has created the sensation that you are watching (the majority of) a two-hour film shot all in one take. Through impossibly long, intricately choreographed tracking shots, the camera swoops through narrow corridors, up and down tight stairways and into crowded streets. It comes in close for quiet conversations and soars between skyscrapers for magical-realism flights of fancy. Although we have seen the long-take trick before, perhaps most notably in Hitchcock’s 1948 chamber thriller Rope, which masked five of its 10 cuts by slinking in close to its cast, it doesn't make it any less impressive to watch. I thought it was interesting as well because the film is set around this play that Riggan is trying to get on its feet, and in theatre there are no cuts or anything. A film about a play made to look like the same medium of the theatre? What are words. Also worth mentioning is the percussive and propulsive score from Antonio Sanchez, heavy on drums and cymbals, which maintains a jazzy, edgy vibe throughout, and when it really gets going, makes you go, "Oh Shit." as shit undoubtedly proceeds to go down.
|Maybe a baked potato, who knows? My life is filled with endless possibilities.|
There is a meta-ness to the whole film, which it manages to pull of nicely without being too content in its own cleverness. Firstly we have Keaton, who starred in Tim Burton’s two mega-grossing Batman films then quit the franchise on principle, an actor who supposedly peaked twenty years ago whilst playing a superhero, as Riggan, an actor who peaked twenty years ago whilst playing a superhero. Secondly we have Norton, an actor who has come into Birdman with the baggage of being difficult and demanding over the years, playing Mike Shiner, a difficult and demanding actor. You get the point.
|Ooh, or maybe curry.|
To wrap things up, I'll leave you this: Birdman is a joy to watch, both for the technicality of the film making and for the performances drawn from the actors. It is funny, occasionally heartbreaking and a little bit of a mind fuck. Well worth some of your hard earned cash I reckon.