Birdman – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review

Birdman4.5 Stars

I watched a trifecta of excellent films this weekend.  As we inch closer to the Oscars, and with home video releases catching up to our demand to see the films before the awards show, I watched Birdman, Theory of Everything and St. Vincent (even though it wasn’t nominated for anything, I really wanted to see it).  It’s hard to say which one I liked the most, so I won’t.  I’ll just review each on it’s own, ignoring the awards talk and comparisons.

Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, an actor who made his mark and claimed his fame by playing comic book hero Birdman on the big screen.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t done a whole lot since walking away from the franchise.  His fellow actors and many critics don’t consider him a serious actor, just a celebrity who got a juicy role.  To prove them wrong, he’s written, funded and is directing Raymond Carver’s story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love on Broadway.  As the production simultaneously comes together and falls apart around him, he hears the voice of Birdman trying to persuade him to take back his fame and play the hero again, reminding him that “Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige”.

Comedy and drama collide expertly in Birdman.  The overwhelming feeling was dramatic, but there were a lot of genuine laughs put forth by the incredible cast, as the humour ranged from the subtle to the absurd.  Edward Norton has long been a favourite of mine, and steals almost every scene he is in.  Emma Stone continued to impress, as Riggan’s daughter who is fresh out of rehab and is acting as his assistant.  Though the film is largely dialogue driven, the cinematography was incredible.  Emmanuel Lubezki was the director of photography, fresh off his Oscar wins from last year’s Gravity.  I thought the way the camera moved from scene to scene, following the actors almost like a fly was really well done, and everything seemed to be done in a series of long takes.  Sadly, I can see the look and style of Birdman being copied by indie filmmakers for the next few years.

Bottom Line:  Keaton probably gave the performance of his career, and his Oscar nomination is well deserved.  He did win the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Golden Globe, but as I saw the competition is pretty strong too.


Posted on 15-02-17, in 4.5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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