Birdman

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Subtitle is: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). No, I'm not sure what that means without doing some research. It won four Oscars, including Best Picture, and was nominated for five more, including two "Best Actor" (Michael Keaton and Edward Norton) and one "Best Supporting Actress" (Emma Stone). I'm not surprised at that last bit: everyone acts the crap out of their roles. I would have thrown Naomi Watts in there too.

It is bizarre, in a love-it-or-hate-it way. I found it agreeable, Mrs. Salad did not. It is far from clear how much is actually-happening fantasy and how much is all-in-someone's-mind delusion. I chose fantasy, which might be the reason I liked it.

Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson as he struggles to open an "arty" play based on a Raymond Carver story on Broadway. Riggan is perhaps best known for his superhero role (guess the name) many years back, and has struggled to get taken seriously as an actor ever since.

He is surrounded by a host of colorful characters: his friend/lawyer Jake (Zach Galifianakis); daughter Sam (Emma Stone); moody actor Mike (Edward Norton); Mike's ex-girlfriend/actress Lesley (Naomi Watts). Everybody's pretentious, self-destructive, and various degrees of insane. The production is teetering on the edge of financial ruin. And Riggan keeps hearing a powerful voice advising him to… well, do stuff that might not be in his best interests.

Trivia: Eventually I caught on that the movie was filmed with a minimum of visible cuts. (IMDB counts only 16 in the entire movie.)


Last Modified 2015-06-12 10:16 AM EDT