The virtue of ignorance is a sweet one.
The Oscars are coming up, and with them nominations for best picture. 2014 had some good movies came out Among them Guardians of the Galaxy and American Sniper. Though I have not seen American Sniper, I have hear some good things about it. But 2014 also brought the black comedy film Birdman. Co-written, produced and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Birdman is about a washed-up actor who was famous for playing a superhero named Birdman, who is struggling to do a Broadway play adaptation of a short story.
Birdman stars Michael Keaton as the main character of the story, also starring Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Zach Galifianakis among other strong actors. At it's core it is basically Michael Keaton playing a profound and fictional version of himself, because Michael Keaton was also famous for playing a super hero, Batman, and in recent years hasn't been as active or successful. Although I wouldn't call Keaton washed up.
Riggan Thomas (Keaton), who was famous for playing Birdman decades earlier, has been hearing Birdman's voice in his head, who has been tormenting him with criticism and taunting. He decides to write, direct and star in a Broadway Adaptation of 'What we talk about when we talk about love' by Raymond Carver. Riggan's Lawyer and best friend played by Galifianakis is the producer of the play, with Riggan's daughter, a recovering addict named Sam, played by Emma Stone acts as his assistant. Riggan puts together rehearsals and during the rehearsals drops a stage light onto an actor just to get him to stop. The Film takes a comedic yet dark turn from then on. Including the final scene of the play where Riggan ends up shooting his nose off.
The film has a both a realistic and a surrealistic feel all at the same time. There are many great scenes that range from emotional to funny. Such as the scene where Michael Keaton in only his underwear, wrestles with Edward Norton. Or the scene where Emma Stone gives Keaton a talking to about how worthless he is and that the play is basically a vanity project. One scene that left me questioning is the final scene in the movie. Riggan ends up dismissing Birdman when Sam visits him in the hospital. After she leaves he ends up on the window ledge, Sam returns and sees he is gone she looks out the window, first to the ground and then to the sky and she smiles after looking up in the sky. It left me wondering if Riggan killed himself or if he really was Birdman. With as ambiguous as an ending it has any interpretation of what happened could be right.
The Film benefits from a decent amount of star actors who know what they are doing, and who their characters are. You can tell the movie was made for Michael Keaton it just feels like a Keaton movie. The music in the movie is also very noteworthy consisting entirely of classical pieces and drums. The drums provide an abstract sound giving a sound opposite to what is expected. But every piece was implemented to represent an event on screen. All of this providing a great musical atmosphere for the movie.
This movie originally an independent film quickly gained universal acclaim leading to it's release in cinemas. Truly a breakout film of 2014. One can only hope that future films are made with the detail and artistic value of Birdman.