Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - 5 Stars
Unique cinematography, a clever script and superb acting makes this movie fly high, and proves that this is a modern masterpiece.
Birdman is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor - famous for portraying an iconic superhero - as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.
The script written by the team of Alejandro Gonzálex Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr and Armando Bo is superb. There is nothing “normal” or predictable about this film and the clever plot telling devices the writers use throughout means you’re never quite aware of what you are witnessing and if its real or in the imagination of the actor (played by Michael Keaton).
One of the most interesting aspects about the film is the fact it has been edited together to make it appear the film only consists of two shots. The only time where the camera appears to cut is when Michael Keaton’s character is unconscious, giving the perception that you are seeing the story from his point of view. While at first the one shot technique can be a little overwhelming after a while you can relax into it and see the genius of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.
While all of the above aspects help make the movie brilliant it is the cast, who all shine in their roles that solidifies how great this movie is. Michael Keaton hasn’t done a film anywhere near this good in his entire career. In this movie he is finally given a chance to shine and he is being recognised through various award wins and nominations for this role! While the whole cast is strong, in addition to Keaton the two other actors who stand out to me as delivering award winning and compelling performances are Emma Stone, and Edward Norton. Both these actors demonstrate an emotional intensity that I don’t think either of the actors have portrayed before.
Overall this film is superb, however it is an “artsy” film. While more mainstream audiences may not enjoy the style and plot people who like to be challenged, and questioned by their films will love this. Birdman really is a modern masterpiece!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas