Birdman (2014)

I’m disappointed that my local cinema is showing “Christmas Vacation” instead of “The Pyramid”.  I’ll either have to drive 1.5 hours away now or watch the movie on video eventually.  I hear I’m not missing much though.  I’m happy that my theater is playing “Birdman” this week.  it’s a movie that has slowly been building traction around the movie circuit.  And after watching the film, I can see why.

“Birdman” is an outstanding story about an actor, past his prime, who overcomes egos and criticisms for a chance to regain relevance with a Broadway play which his adapts, directs and stars in.  It’s a wonderful reflection of our current Hollywood culture.  Cinema, television, and the Internet are so flooded nowadays with comic heroes, in one way or another, it’s interesting to see it through the eyes of someone on the inside, looking out at us.

The film stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis and a whole slew of other wonderful actors.  This cast is superb, especially in scenes where they play off one another.  Keaton and Stone’s performance as father and daughter for example was heartwarming and believable.  Norton and Keaton’s scenes were amazing as well.  But what surprised me the most, however, was Zach Galifianakis’ performance.  I normally do not like his roles and his portrayals of those roles.  But Galifianakis truly made me rethink my stance with this movie.

The direction by Alejandro González Iñárritu was wonderful.  The characters always seemed focused and plot was constantly moving to this backdrop of jazzy music.  I’m sure part of this is brought on by having terrifically handled scenes which flowed one into the other seamlessly.  As such, the movie has a flow that was easy to follow.  This was handled so well, at a few transition points in the movie, I wished we could continue following down some of the other paths that this movie could have taken.

Overall, this movie was very entertaining.  It hits on one of my major beliefs as well–That we all want to be relevant, or at least feel that we are.  In a society of instant gratification, of likes and pluses, and of more blogs and reviews that we know what to do with, this movie spotlights why people like us do it.  We are the ones that put ourselves out to the public.  We are superheroes in a world so busy thinking about itself to notice.  I give this a 5 out of 5.



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