Review: Birdman

When you follow film journalist from all around the world, there’s sure to be a few favourite films that will always be repeated. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is one of these.

First shown at the Venice Film Festival last October, Birdman has since received critical acclaim from around the Globe as well as multiple Golden Globe nominations. Obviously, it is expected Oscar nominations will soon follow.

Riggan Thompson is a washed up superhero actor hoping to make a comeback on the Broadway stage. Surrounded by his friends, family and ego, he must work past everything holding him back to make himself relevant again.

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Having previously played Batman in Tim Burton’s outing of the caped crusader, it’s quite ironic that Micheal Keaton is now playing a washed-up superhero actor. However, that’s seemingly where any comparisons end. Keaton’s portrayal of a man on the edge of reality is compelling, with the audience never sure whether what’s being show is real or just a figment of Riggan’s imagination.

The supporting cast of Edward Norton and Emma Stone is equally captivating. Emma Stone plays Riggan’s daughter who has returned from rehab and is working as her father’s assistant. The contrast between Riggan and Sam really demonstrates how social media and the internet influence people’s perception of relevance. Edward Norton, who always fits seamlessly into any role he plays, is as brilliant as expected.

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The actor who really shone was Zach Galifianakis, who plays Jake, Riggan’s best friend and agent. As an actor who is known for his outlandish behaviour in the Hangover series, seeing Galifianakis playing a relative straight man was a refreshing change.

Visually, Birdman is stunning. Edited together to make the film appear that it has been shot in a single take, the film is a joy to watch. You take as much pleasure in wondering where the scene changes will come as you do in where the story is going.

Some aspects of the film are odd and confusing but Birdman is still an enjoyable watch. However, while the film is well deserving of award nominations, I’m not so sure it will fare well when it comes to winning.

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