Birdman – Review ★★★★★

If we had to describe Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film in three words, they would be as follows:

Wow. Wow. Wooow.

Please, there’s no need to nominate anyone else for any award for Original Screenplay. Poor guys don’t hold a chance against this high-paced, schizophrenic mix of reality and fiction, theatre and cinema. And yes, this is probably the first and only film that can please Greeks and Trojans. Intellectual philosophizing about man’s quest to find a meaning in this sad and irrelevant life? Check. Edward Norton playing the villain? Check. Big explosions? Yeah flipping check!

This is, without a doubt, the best superhero-based-on-something-that-flies-and-ends-in-man that Michael Keaton ever, ever played. It takes courage (and a incredible level of meta-narrative) for him to go bald and fat (while clearly try to make a comeback) to go full steam ahead playing a fat, bald actor trying to make a comeback.

We are not going to tell you the story. You don’t need the story. We ourselves couldn’t care less about it. Just go with it. Follow the flow. Bite your nails. Try to figure out what is happening next. Feel all smug because you think you figured it out. And – bam! – you’ll be slapped in the face. Did you predict THAT, punk?

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It’s all about acting, and of course the acting is perfect – as if we needed more proof of what a great director Iñárritu is (Babel, 21 Grams). Keaton is just sublime, playing himself (we actually hope not, for his sanity). Galifianakis just fits. Naomi Watts, why can’t we have her in every film? But the big standing ovation needs to go to Emma Stone, that plays Birdman/Riggan’s daughter, and bloody Edward Norton. Forget Tyler Durden, this Mike guy has serious problems, and we are not speaking about his pants department.

And then, as if the film isn’t great enough already, there’s the blackest, darkest humour you can imagine, all over the place. Stop it, Iñárritu! Give us a chance to be depressed about modern Hollywood output! Don’t make us laugh about how superficial the moviemaking industry is, and particularly don’t make us cry about the irrelevance and pretentiousness of the so called “high” art.

(and those words about critics that are failed artists, and are lazy bastards that put everything in categories? – that hurt.)

You know you have to see this. You will not regret it. This is real. This is fiction.
Birdman, we love you.

PS. Apparently the film is all made in a apparent one-shot wonder. Meh.

Birdman will be released in UK cinemas on Jan 1.

Sara is originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where she studied Film Studies before moving to London to enrol in film school. Having made her first short film about her neighbour's chickens when she was 9 (a dystopian sci-fi, still her favourite genre), she is now a London-based film director and editor, and also a writer for the Portuguese Take Magazine. She is a huge fan of Lars Von Trier, Krysztof Kiéslowski, and David Lean.