Amazing! That’s Writer/Director/Producer Alejandro González Iñárritu’s brilliant Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) in a nutshell.
Michael Keaton gives a powerful performance as Riggan Thomson, a once popular movie superhero named Birdman, who is now adapting, producing and starring in a Broadway play as a means of reviving his popularity. Thomson’s is a bleak, frightful odyssey as he moves toward opening night, not just due to the normal jitters of production, but for the Birdman voice in his head that constantly tears him and his effort down.
What’s great about this film is that it’s open to interpretation as to how much, if any, of Riggan’s super abilities are fantasy or reality and you’re never really sure right up until the end.
What’s also really great about this film is the incredible camerawork created by Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (fresh off his Academy Award for Gravity) and the fabulous performances of Zach Galifianakis as Riggan’s lawyer/partner, Naomi Watts and Edward Norton as his theatrical co-stars, Amy Ryan as his ex-wife and Lindsay Duncan as the New York Times drama critic, who wants to tear his project down with a vengeance.
And, that’s not all. Last week, I hailed Naomi Watts as a definite contender for Best Supporting Actress for her role in St. Vincent. Well, now she has competition from Emma Stone, who plays the just-out-of-rehab daughter of Keaton’s Thompson and is brilliant. Also, a shoo-in for best soundtrack with that haunting drumbeat is Composer Antonio Sanchez.
This is a film about the magic of theater and I have to praise Co-Writers Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo for their brilliance, as well.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) well deserves 5 out of 5 stars and an Academy Award nomination.