Mittwoch, 4. Februar 2015

BIRDMAN - Movie Review

Title: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Running Time: 119 min
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan

For today's kids, the name Michael Keaton will probably not ring any bells. Yes, the actor who was the original Dark Knight to a whole generation including myself has slowly vanished from the spotlight after turning down a third Batman film twenty years ago. Thus, you can't overlook the self-irony in this film as he plays a faded Hollywood actor who had been famous for his superhero role and even explains at one point that he said no to a fourth installment twenty years ago.
Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" however is special in so many more ways besides its meta casting. The director has truely created a piece of art. And not that conceided pseudo-sophisticated kind of art, but rather a matchless mix of comedy and drama, complexity and simplicity, imagination and reality.
Firstly, there is the astonishing fact that the movie is filmed to look like it is one big continuous shot. Apart from being incredibly complicated (as the film still uses minor time jumps), this technique puts the viewer right there with the actors and you are immediately sucked into the world of the film. You follow the characters on their way from one room to another, and stripping the cast off the ability to cut between lines seems to have brought out the best in them. Everyone in this film is phenomenal, from a perfectly cast Edward Norton to an Award-worthy Emma Stone to a terrific Zach Galifianakis who is surprisingly credible in a serious role. But the man of the hour is, of course, Michael Keaton who has found the role of a lifetime. His performance makes every struggle and every emotion so truthful that it is simply breathtaking.
This leads me to the second big strength of the film: characters and dialogue. If someone asked what "Birdman" was about, you would only scratch the surface if you summed up its plot. Ultimately, it is about everything. Not because it tries to jam so much in there but because it feels so very real, and real-life doesn't have just one theme. Every character is completely fleshed out and in their conversations you'll find an endless number of topics. Family, love, art, the movie business, film criticism, our relevance in life, our legacy, fame and the different masks we wear everyday. The movie wears one on its own, as it might be an arthouse film, but still pays great tribute to big blockbusters. It gives us so many images to interpret, but at several occasion it says that interpretations simply don't matter.
It is this duality that makes "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" absolutely perfect. A thought-provoking film, without ever hitting you over the head with a wise message. It stirred up something within me that I haven't been able to shake off. Extremely powerful and endlessly captivating: A masterpiece!

For Fans of:
Black Swan (2010)
Memento (2000)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Click Here To Watch Trailer!

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