Monday, November 3, 2014
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Review
Michael Keaton plays the lead role of Riggan Thomas, the former Birdman actor. The funny thing about the casting is that it's almost a reflection of Michael Keaton's actual life. No, I wouldn't call Michael Keaton a washed-up actor. But there was a point in time where he did play an iconic superhero also named for an animal. This of course is Batman. But now when you think of Batman, Michael Keaton isn't the first name that comes to your mind. In fact, when you are coming up with a list of actors who have played superheroes, Michael Keaton's name might not come up for quite some time. Also, Michael Keaton hasn't disappeared from the acting scene, but it's been a while since he's had a huge role and an Oscar nomination isn't something he's been able to add to his resume. So I found that a fun connection. Personally I've always liked Michael Keaton, so I was excited to see how he did given the buzz following. And by goodness does he give a legendary performance. Right from the start, you know there is something wrong with this man because he has a voice talking to him throughout the movie and when he gets mad he starts acting like a jedi by moving and throwing things without touching them. What the heck? What's happening? I'm not going to tell you the answer, but those are the thoughts that go through your mind as these things are happening to Keaton's character.
Keaton, though, is far from the only actor who kills it in this. The whole cast in this does a really good job and there are quite a few big names. My favorite outside Keaton is actually Emma Stone. This shouldn't come as a surprise if you know me. I love Emma Stone. In fact, if you ask me who my current favorite actress is, Emma Stone is my answer. She is brilliant and perfect in everything she does and this is no different. She plays Michael Keaton's daughter in this and the two of them have a very rough relationship that is very interesting to watch as the movie goes on. Like Keaton, Emma Stone has her own issues that she is going through and she is fantastic. This is a role where she is almost guaranteed to get an Oscar nomination and I am excited for her. I even think I know the exact scene they are going to show when the announce her name during the ceremony. The third actor that is getting a lot of award buzz for this is Edward Norton. I actually like his character, but he didn't quite blow me away like the others did. Instead, I was like, 'this is the role he gave up The Avengers for?' Oh well, Mark Ruffalo was better anyways. Now in my personal opinion, if anyone from Birdman gets a nomination for supporting actor it should be Zach Galifianakis. I love it when a comedy star takes a dramatic role and nails it. That's exactly what happens here with Galifianakis.
I'm not even close to being done with the thoughts I have in my head about this movie, but I'm going to wrap this up now. Despite the acting being being amazing and the technical aspects of the movie being one of a kind, the most impressive feature in this movie is the story itself. Like I said in the beginning, this movie is very deep, psychological, and metaphorical. This can also be very relatable to pretty much everyone. I could spend a whole ton of time on the specifics of this. I could even write a whole separate spoiler review discussing all the themes in the movie, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to let you discover these things and ponder on them on your own time. Needless to say, all these aspects of this movie combined make it so that this movie is an absolute masterpiece. I was totally blown away and am even more blown away the more I think about it. I said earlier that when we look back on the year 2014, Birdman is a movie that will stand out of the crowd and I stand by that. I honestly think that in 20 or 30 years from now that this could be a movie that is studied in film history classes. When this movie comes to your town, please go see it. I'm giving this a 10/10. It deserves it. To me that grade doesn't mean perfect, it means classic or future classic and I think that's what Birdman is. It's not just good. It's not just great. It's a masterpiece. A future classic.