561. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

561-birdmanBackground info

Title: Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Year: 2014
Run time: 1hr 59m

“Michael Keaton joins Emma Stone, Edward NOrton, Zach Galifianakis and Naomi Watts in this riveting film about fame, fantasy and life’s failures. When a former superhero film star (Keaton) sets out to make a comeback on Broadway, he grapples with self-doubt, harsh critics, and his estranged daughter (Stone) in this imaginative, thrilling, witty film from writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu.”

Live blog

1:42 – Well the jazz drumming doesn’t endear it to me, I’ll be honest.
5:19 – How do you screw up doing that?
6:56 – “Get me Woody Harrelson.”
7:18 – Oh, poor Jeremy Renner.
12:45 – “Did he quit or was he fired?” “With Mike, it’s usually both.”
16:19 – Jeez, Norton, come in and take over the whole thing whydontya.
25:11 – Ranting about cellphones. Knew he was a badun.
26:26 – Galifinakis in a serious role is intriguing. Keep expecting him to say something ridiculous.
31:05 – “Because you threw a kitchen knife at me.” Yea, that’ll do it.
38:27 – Yay, coconut water.
41:45 – “You don’t even have a Facebook page.” Can’t really blame him for that. It sucks!
48:49 – Not ready to talk yet, the throwing things gives that away.
50:15 – Is it bad I secretly like the Phantom of the Opera being in the background?
52:04 – “Truth is always interesting.”
1:01:52 – Love it when people are going crazy then just go “sup?”
1:07:19 – Don’t tell a woman she’s big, no matter what you mean.
1:11:43 – “We would have raised, like, Justin Bieber.”
1:19:58 – Love that he just wiped out the whole human race.
1:20:31 – “Believe it or not, this is power.”
1:26:18 – That’s like an alcohol grotto or something.
1:41:53 – The lighting is amazing.

Conclusions

Going into this, I knew it was Oscar-worthy, that the trailer looked intriguing but that it was a bit… weird. Having now seen it, I still can’t put my finger on how I feel about it. Clearly, it was a masterpiece, an exquisite work of art, but did I like it?

Keaton was incredible. All the acting was fantastic, in fact. Emma Stone’s rant about what it is to mean something to the current generation gave me chills. The fact they had to nail so much of the script at a time was brilliant to watch, a real craft from actors and director. Long scenes with very few cuts must have been very hard work but are rewarding and worth the effort.

It took me a while to get used to the style, the close up cameras, following characters as they walked around, but I soon found it immersive, bringing you into the action. More than just being invested in the characters, you’re almost living the movie with them.

But still, I can’t say that I actually liked it. The drumming irritated me, and there didn’t seem to be a huge amount of story to work with, and none of the characters were particularly nice, except maybe the ex-wife. I felt the ending was slightly tacked on, but it at least wrapped up the story where there could easily have been no ending at all!

So to sum up, I didn’t like it, but I thought it was amazing. Make of that what you will.

Rating: 4/5.

One comment

  1. Lukeh

    Totally missed that you watched this one. Such a unique, brilliant film but I don’t know if I enjoyed it as much as I remember reading back on your notes. Michael Keaton is incredible though that can’t be denied. It should be a film to rememebr for the technical achievement of what they did though I think.

    Like

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