Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Nominated for 9 Academy Awards (tied with The Grand Budapest Hotel this year for the most nominations,) I would not feel right without seeing Birdman before The Oscars air even though I’ve already made my Oscar predictions.
I’m sticking with them, by the way.
The entire film was essentially a play. Sometimes it was a play within a play. There were so many Shakespearean elements that had so much weight to the entirety of the plot and for each character’s development.
The first edit was at around the hour and 45 minute mark. That’s right. 95% of the film was all shot in one take! And yet I saw each character evolve and develop in accordance to the flow of the story.
Birdman is the story of Riggan, a former Hollywood elite action star during his prime three decades earlier. After turning down doing a 4th installment of his comic book superhero persona, he faded away from the limelight almost as suddenly as he appeared. Now, he has written, directed, and is starring in an adaptation of a play in a rundown theater in New York City.
I’m going to make a bold prediction right now and say that this script (written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu) was written for Michael Keaton to play the lead. Keaton has had a stellar career for over 40 years, but if you’re from my generation, you probably remember him best from when he played… a comic book superhero.
As a matter of fact: Riggan says that the last time he played Birdman was 1992. Guess when was the last time he played Batman? Yep… 1992.
This is the first Oscar nomination for Michael Keaton and it’s more than deserved. The entire cast puts on stellar performances in a script that is smart, funny, tragic, twisted, and a bit of a mystery all at the same time. If you’re someone who enjoys movies with a little bit of everything and you want to walk out guessing all the symbolism thrown in your face without realizing it until after the credits roll, then this is definitely for you.