Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) has been one of the biggest film success stories of the year.
The film, a comedy drama directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, won a Golden Globe for the Best Screenplay (Motion Picture) and star, Michael Keaton won an award for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture.
[pullquote]Keaton gives a spellbinding performance in a thought-provoking masterpiece[/pullquote] He plays an actor who once starred as an iconic superhero, and is now on the verge of a burnt-out career.
The film follows the opening of a new Broadway play, his attempt to feed his deflating ego and hold onto his failing career, whilst trying to piece back together the scraps of a family life destroyed by stardom.
The first scene shows Riggan levitating calmly in his dressing room at the St James Theatre in New York, where the majority of the film is shot.
Despite this, the film still manages to maintain amazing lighting throughout. Creating colours and textures in this space emphasises the grit, emotions and determination of theatre.
One of the most intriguing things about the film was viewing the life of a theatre through the eyes of film and it’s a film that truly shows how much actors give to their art.
The way the film is shot in almost one seamless take, and helps to embody the setting of the theatre. With this, Birdman owes a debt to Hitchcock’s Rope, an iconic film that was created in the same way.
Emma Stone gives a particularly stunning monologue, playing the role of the damaged daughter fresh from rehab. Her sporadic presence acts as a reminder of the emotional mess Riggan leaves trailing behind his whirlwind of self-obsession.
The film is fuelled on with an energetic jazz drum soundtrack, the perfect the cherry on the top. The music gives the audience a sense of constant alertness, preparing us for all the surprises Birdman throws at us along the way.
Birdman is a creatively composed film with an extremely relevant and suppressing storyline that explores society’s desperation with fame. The cast project beautifully defined characters, each of whom give the story a new angle.
Image via New Regency Pictures, M Prods, Grisbi Productions, TSG Entertainment, Worldview Entertainment