Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts
An actor named Riggan Thomson who previously played a famous on-screen superhero, “Birdman”, tries to prove himself in his older age by putting on a play on Broadway. The production of the play is not without its problems, mainly having to find a new actor to play the lead role at the last minute. Meanwhile, “Birdman” seems to have become a part of Thomson’s mind, and regularly speaks to him and makes him do things.
This was easily one of the strangest films I have ever seen. I’m usually up for quirky stuff, and it’s rare for films to go completely over my head, but there was something about Birdman that I just did not get. It won four Oscars so it can’t be bad, but it was just a little to artsy for mainstream audiences I think. The acting was good- I was convinced by Michael Keaton’s performance (I’m not usually a fan) and Edward Norton was highly effective in getting me not to like his character on any level. Also, there was virtually no break in dialogue throughout the whole film- each scene moved seamlessly onto the next, and much of it was in real-time. Although this got tiring towards the end, it was an unusual concept.
However, as a whole I just found the whole thing weird. I got that a lot of what Thomson sees isn’t real, because his mind has been taken over by Birdman, but… it was just too “artistic” for me. A lot of the dialogue (although filmed in an interesting way) was a bit pretentious, and a constant drum beat in the background was just pointless. I think it was supposed to be heavily ironic and I normally go in for that sort of thing, but I don’t think I laughed once.
I probably would not recommend this film to anyone I know personally, but I guess it would be fascinating to study for a film student or someone similar. Not really worth the effort for anyone else.