Movie Title: Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Date Released: November 14th, 2014
Date Seen: January 18th, 2015
Seen with: Anna (sister – aged 21)
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
Birdman follows Riggan (Michael Keaton), a washed up actor known for his roles as Birdman (cough Batman cough), trying to start a Broadway show. Doesn’t sound too terribly interesting does it? Well, it’s interesting at times and boring at other times. Some background on how I feel about Iñárritu – I’m 50/50 on his stuff. I either LOVE them (e.g. Babel) or I hate them (e.g. Biutiful). So going into this movie I was hoping for a “Babel” but I got a “Biutiful”.
This isn’t to say that the movie isn’t good. It’s well directed, exceedingly well shot, and well-acted. A lot happens and goes on in this movie, but I didn’t care about it. That’s the problem I had with the movie. Playing the age card, I’m only 24. Watching a man go through this crazy mid-life/mid-career crisis is not something that I can identify with. I don’t have to identify with a character all the time, of course not, but it would have helped. I had no desire to get emotionally involved in Riggan and his play, thus, I didn’t care for the movie. I was much more invested in Sam (Emma Stone) than I was in Riggan. I would have rather watched the movie from her point of view and have her opinions on what was going on with her dad. However, the 60+ old white men in the theater with us LOVED this movie.
As I said, the acting was incredible. There wasn’t a performance I found bad or even “ok”. Emma Stone as Sam and Edward Norton as Mike were my personal favorites. One of the most interesting parts of the movie is watching Riggan and Mike practice a scene, but then edit the dialogue or the way it was said. Those parts I found much more interesting than a majority of the rest of the movie. The cinematography is also great. The movie was shot to look like one continuous shot, for the most part. It’s very interesting to watch. The editing done in the film is to hide the cuts, but even still, it’s fairly obvious when they do occur.
I can appreciate this movie for the great acting, directing, and cinematography, however it was one I just didn’t care for. I would not see it again, but I can see how people enjoy it and why they think it’s good. It just wasn’t for me (dear god, this is American Hustle all over again!).
Part 2 – In Depth/Spoiler Ridden Review
Really just more of a thought I had – There’s some nice commentary in the movie about how all audiences want nowadays is stuff like “Birdman”, where there’s guns, and explosions, and fighting, and basically just a Michael Bay movie. The audiences don’t want any of this talking stuff or plot. I feel like that was partly directed at my generation, and so I felt a bit guilty about not being happy with Birdman. But, it’s not because I wanted something with guns and explosions and shots of Scarlett Johanssons ass, it’s just because I wanted to be entertained and excited to be watching the movie. Birdman was not doing that for me.
Great acting, great cinematography, great directing, just wasn’t my kind of movie.