Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

Now, Birdman really didn’t look that interesting in the trailers that I saw so while it was in theaters I didn’t see it, but it won multiple Oscars (Best Picture, Screenplay, Director, and Cinematography) so I felt like I had to see it just because one of my movie goals is to see ever Best Picture winners. Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson who is trying to revive his career by going to Broadway and doing a play, he writes an adaptation of Raymond Carver’s classic What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, as well as directs and stars in it. Zach Galifianakis is wonderful in an understated role and Emma Stone and Edward Norton do great jobs in the movie, really the whole ensemble does a wonderful job.  The film is pretty cool as it give you a look back stage of a Broadway show.

The film itself look pretty cool as it was shot in like several long takes so the film had the feel of like a play sort of, where anything could happen and perhaps made the film seem shorter than it really was. Watching the film did make me want to check out some other films but the director Alejandro González Iñárritu. I don’t really understand why people are calling this a comeback performance for Michael Keaton, sure it’s his best film in years but it all in what follow this film that will make it so.

On to the play, in the film Riggan adapts the short story or maybe it’s the whole collection of short stories into a play, but from what we hear of the play it seems just the single short story. I’ve read What We Talk About… Love several times so I wasn’t that big of a fan of the rearranging of the event, and it doesn’t really make sense as well as we see early on in the play they talk about the ex with the twenty-two pistol, and then the play ends with this event and his suicide, to me it made no sense because in the story, the ex is almost at the beginning and the events surrounding it are different. The story also ends with the couples still sitting around the table after they finished the second bottle of gin and talking about going to dinner. The story is also only like ten pages long so he’s got to be pulling something from somewhere to get it to be a two act play.

If you want to see a film about an actor trying to stay relevant in a changing world then this is the film for you. Unfortunately, I don’t understand why this film won Best Picture over Boyhood, even though I wasn’t that big of a fan of Boyhood either. Both films were decent but I didn’t find anything special about them, but Hollywood sure did.


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