Out Now On-Demand
Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Michael Keaton (Batman) claimed a Golden Globe as the lead in this black comedy, from the director of 21 Grams, as a washed-up actor – known for portraying iconic superhero Birdman. Winner of four Academy Awards including Best Film and Director. Co-stars Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis.
Riggan Thomson (Keaton) starred in two Birdman movies before quitting and hitting career doldrums. His solution some two decades later is to adapt, direct, and star in a Broadway play based on a Raymond Carver short story. For this gamble to pay off, Thomson will have to deal with an impossibly difficult method actor co-star (Norton), an insecure actress (Watts), his current girlfriend (Riseborough), and recovering addict daughter (Stone). Not to mention the voice of Birdman, present in his most vulnerable moments to chip away at Thomson's ego, and offer generally unhelpful advice.
Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay and Cinematography, Academy Awards 2015; Best Actor (Comedy/Musical) for Keaton and Best Screenplay, Golden Globes 2015; Best Cinematography and Editing, 2015 BAFTA Awards
Rating: R16 Violence, sexual references, offensive language & drug use
It's very rare you find a film unlike any you've ever seen before, but Birdman, co-written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Biutiful, Babel) more than fits the bill. You could describe it as Magnolia crossed with Black Swan. Or Rope meets The Player. Or Sunset Boulevard via Crank. You could call it anything, in fact, and you'd barely get close. If you like the sound of just one of these mangled correlatives, stop reading now. To be surprised at the cinema is the rarest of treats.
Backstage at a Broadway theatre we meet Riggan (an Oscar-form Michael Keaton), a washed-up star best known for playing the eponymous superhero (wink, wink). He's mounting a comeback with a pretentious and most likely disastrous stage version of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Around him, his agent (Zach Galifianakis) panics, his daughter (Emma Stone) sulks; his ex-wife (Amy Ryan) and new girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough) mill; and volatile co-star (Edward Norton) threatens to make or break it all.
But it’s not the what, it’s the how. We’re not going to reveal Iñárritu’s methods, but the way Birdman tracks its overlapping dramas is such a dazzling achievement that, even if you don't enjoy the film, you have to take your hat off to the film-makers. Among an outstanding cast, Norton in particular has never been better, playing (wink wink wink), a brilliant but difficult actor – just one of many Hollywood barbs that hits the target and sticks.
But what really lingers is the sense that, as we float down these chaotic corridors, anything can happen and, indeed, probably will. To be surprised at the cinema may be rare. To be amazed is something else entirely.
At The Movies (Australia)
Total Film (UK)
New York Times
Not your Average Movie
very well done. Have always been a fan of Michael Keaton. He played Awesomely in this one. Please oh Please make another BeetleJuice - Michael
Waiting for it to start
There was nothing wrong with the acting (I thought Ed Norton was fun in this), but I just couldn't get into the story. A shame as I'd really looked forward to watching this.
wow had to walk out, just kept waiting for it to get good,it didn't, i don't see why you would ever see it twice, do not go Super BORING
I have been looking forward to this since the first trailer release, and usually 9 times out of 10 my hype dies down and the film ends up being disappointing, but this was the tenth film that blew me out of the water. Aside from amazing casting (girl, Emma Stone is on FIRE) and a great story and yadeya (usual review praise)... the actual filming of this is magical and amazing, and mind melting. That with the soundtrack.
Please go see this film. Just do it.
Claire Van Beek
Could have been GREAT, but was only good.
I found this film extremely captivating at time and other times a bit boring. Maybe the continuous drumming just got a bit "same-sy". This could have been a GREAT film. But I think it was just good. Actually a little boring but still worth seeing.
Trying to win an award
The previously mentioned comment, "emperor's new clothes", seems to sum up this movie, its way too clever for its own good to be entertaining. If I were to pen a script with an eye to garnering awards this one would be near the top of the list. First rule to winning awards, impress the "important people", like the ones who vote on the awards! These can be generally viewed as people from the industry, professional reviewers or media writers who, through their vast experience and degree of culture, in their own minds, are able to see things that the general public cannot. Yes it is a well filmed piece, no it is not deeply thought provoking, as it is fairly transparent early on that it is trying to show the world from a disturbed minds vision of reality rather than real life. The attempts to drag this premise out are tiresome, getting in the way of the story, whilst trying to be "clever". Impressing the superior people in the audience whilst just annoying the majority can and does end up winning awards, but ultimately it was a hour or two I will never get back. If you are a fan of "theatre" and want to exercise your sense of high culture, rather than being entertained, see it, I am sure it will be a contender for topics of discussion at the next coffee group.
It changes the defination of FILM.
Way Over The Top
This is a completely different form of movie entertainment from what we have seen before.I must confess to not understanding it totally,but that is not what it is supposed to let you do.What was the the reason for showing the comet at the beginning and at the end for starters?
One needs to look at this movie from a different angle and then follow along and make up your own mind about what is happening.The acting was fantastic,which also enhanced the making of this movie.
It is refreshing but mainly shows actors being stage actors.There was never a dull moment.
There were helps of surprises and original beyond belief.
Michael Keaton's greatest performance and some super clever camerawork. Great fun!