After featuring the trailer in a previous post, I finally got to see what many are calling an Oscar worthy performance by Michael Keaton in Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. Michael Keaton stars as the lead character, Riggan, an actor struggling to become something more than the iconic superhero, Birdman. With an ego the size of the sun and a black hole of family trouble, Michael Keaton reminds us what it means to be ignorant but also how to be passionate in what you do.
The movie opens up with Michael Keaton floating in the air of his studio in his whitey-tighteys asking himself, “How did I get here.” Riggan was a superstar. 22 years after portraying Birdman for the last time, people still don’t believe that he is a skilled actor though, which causes him to do something huge. He is going to write, star and direct in an adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” With Zack Galifianakis helping and Edward Norton putting his own two cents into the film, the play is just as star-studded as the film.
Emma Stone portrays the 18 year old rebel daughter Sam, who has as big of an ego problem as her dad, Riggan. She brings the plot to a breaking point with her deep conflicts with her father and the every-present sexual tension with Edward Norton. The plot itself is difficult to follow and will change every time you see the film. While the plot itself is worth a rewatch, the cinematography will make you press play over and over again.
The movie fast forwards through time with brilliant time breaks that even the trained movie watcher may miss. As you watch the film you start to notice something, is the movie done in one shot? You follow Michael Keaton as he moves from his studio to the stage, to off-stage. Even the transitions including the blown up car and the flying sequence seem like one shot. This skill takes more than just a director or a great cinematographer, it involves the entire crew. I give kudos to the film crew, because this film looks gorgeous.
I don’t know what else to say about his film except to go see it. Although not being wide released, you can find it across the country at independent theaters. I saw it at the Magnolia theater in Dallas. If you are looking for a film to make you think or looking for a new cult film to follow, this film fits the criteria. Keep your eyes and ears open for more news about the film as this is sure to get Oscar nods from many people.
Check out the film and stay tuned for more reviews coming soon.