Birdman Review

Wow, what an experience. When I first saw the trailer for this film, I thought it looked fairly good. There was certainly a bit of weirdness in the trailer, but when I heard the film was edited to look like it was shot in one take, I was instantly hooked. I love long takes, and there are plenty of them in this film. Not only that, but the film has a reason for doing so, which really elevates it to another level.
I’m Not Even Here
First and foremost, the direction in this film is impeccable. Alejandro González Iñárritu deserves an oscar for his directing abilities. These long takes require some delicate directions, along with complete trust in the actors. Everyone on set shined, and that is mainly because of the director. I have an immense amount of respect for him, and I certainly hope he gets some love from the Oscars. Next up are the actors; simply put they are fantastic. If Jake Gyllenhaal does not get the oscar, then Michael Keaton surely will. He gives such a powerful performance, made even more difficult by the long takes. He expertly switches from comedy and drama, adding many layers to his character. The others from the cast that really stood out are Edward Norton, and Zach Galifianakis. Norton completely holds his own against Keaton, and even delivers some of the films’ funniest moments. Galifianakis is the biggest surprise. I knew he was a good comedic actor, but in this film he really proves himself simply as a good actor. He is not over the top, and rarely goofy. He has his funny moments, but his character feels grounded and genuine. The writing is also very well done. There are many memorable lines, and the way that the plot unfolds is very alluring.
A Washed Up Comic Strip Character
The acting is great, the direction is great, and the writing is great. However; the cinematography is absolutely stunning. After a while the illusion of a one shot is unnoticeable, but I love why it is used. The basic plot is that Michael Keaton’s character is putting on a broadway play. The continuous camera makes it look like the film itself is a play of sorts. It just goes from scene to scene and it does so seamlessly. It keeps the momentum of the film going, and when it ends you do not want it to. The only drawback to the film is that the plot does not delve into completely new territory (there are many original parts to it though) and I was not a huge fan of the ending. It has grown on me a bit, but I think a second viewing may sway my opinion on it.
Closing Remarks
Overall, I really did love this film. It is not perfect, but it certainly aims for brilliance and achieves what it set out to do. Great acting, great storytelling, and great cinematography make for a great film. I will be upset if it does not get any love at the Oscars, because it deserves it more than most.
BirdmanReview

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