StorylineActor Riggan Thomson is most famous for his movie role from over twenty years ago of the comic book superhero Birdman in the blockbuster movie of the same name and its two equally popular sequels. His association with the role took over his life, where Birdman is more renowned than "Riggan Thomson" the actor. Now past middle age, Riggan is trying to establish himself as a true artist by writing, directing, starring in and co-producing with his best friend Jake what is his Broadway debut, an adaptation of Raymond Carver's story, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. He is staking his name, what little artistic reputation that comes with that name and his life savings on the project, and as such will do anything needed to make the play a success. As he and Jake go through the process of the previews toward opening night, Riggan runs into several issues: needing to find a replacement for the integral supporting male role the night before the first preview; hiring the talented
Birdman is a brilliant, mind blowing experience that is filled with grand performances, Hitchcock-esque camera movements and a brilliant way of storytelling. Above all, Birdman's all star cast featuring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Zach Galifinakis propel this film to greatness, telling the story of a has been actor, Riggan, who was once known for a comic book franchise from yesteryear as he struggles to regain the stardom he once had through an off Broadway play. This proves to be harder and harder for Riggan as he deals with the disappointments of his own life while dealing with the difficulties of making this play his ticket back to stardom. This film serves as a somewhat personal film to Michael Keaton, giving the mere fact that he was known for playing Batman, a comic book hero eerily similar to Birdman. Keaton is an actor that proved time and time again that he can play virtually anything from heavy and hard hitting dramatic roles to silly and funny comedic roles as well. In Birdman, he strikes a perfect balance between the two and turns in the best performance of his entire career. He is firing on all cylinders and truly rises to perfection especially in scenes with an equally great Edward Norton. Another highlight of Birdman is the cinematography. First off, WOW. This film has some of the best cinematography I have seen in quite some time. Focusing on extremely long and spiraling takes, it submerses you in the scene, giving you the type of voyeuristic experience that Birdman calls for. We very much follow these actors as if we're watching a documentary on LSD. The camera movements are slow and bouncy, the tracking shots are nothing short of amazing and it gives an overall, dream like experience when watching this film, something that really benefits the film towards the latter half of it. I fully expect the film's Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki to score a Best Cinematography nomination come Oscar time. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has given us some new age classic films such as Babel, Biutiful, and 21 Grams. Birdman is no exception and, to be honest, this very well may be his masterpiece. He directs his actors with grace and never lets them miss a beat and with some extreme long takes throughout the film, it shows just how good of a director he is and just how good his actors can be, especially Michael Keaton. Overall, I could go on and on about this film and just how great it is but nothing of what I say here can really do Birdman justice. It is a film that you need to experience for yourself. With that being said, Birdman features amazing performances including a jaw dropping turn from Michael Keaton, along with some of the best cinematography I've seen in years. If there is one film to see during the Awards season, it is Birdman.