Birdman 2014 9+ out of 10
Every once in awhile there will be a movie that you just overlooked and when you finally stumble across it is a complete and utter delightful surprise. Birdman was one of those films. I knew that it was supposed to be great, but the subject matter didn't send me running to the theaters or even to put it at the top of my Netflix queue when it came out on DVD. I saw that it was starting on a film channel on TV as I was flipping through channels and set the DVR to record and was very glad that I did. It now sits at near the top of my 2014 movie list which includes films like John Wick and Guardians of the Galaxy.
The movie features a washed up actor that once played an iconic superhero known as Birdman trying to regain his career by directing and starring in a Broadway play The fact that they got Michael Keaton to play the role was brilliant and Keaton absolutely nailed the role. It is likely the best work of his career. The entire cast that includes Edward Norton, Zach Galifanakis, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts was excellent.
The film seems so fresh and original. The film basically roles out as if the whole thing was done in one shot. It follows characters from dressing rooms..... to the hallways backstage....to the stage itself..... and then backstage again.....then out onto the streets of New York and into a bar next door. The film jumped forward in time from the same shot and yet it felt seemless. The cinematography was brilliant. The soundtrack was excellent as well. A drum beat that is both background and then occasionally a part of the actual story as they pass the drummer on the street playing the soundtrack that has been following the characters backstage. I see why this film got so much attention at the Oscars in 2014 - because it was an incredible work out art. I graduated with a degree in film and television, but my movie tastes tend to be in popcorn escapism. This film tapped into my love of the film making process. It was so well crafted that not only did I enjoy what I was seeing --but I also recognized what went into making this film and admired it on that level.
If you overlooked this film like I did I would recommend correcting that and seeing it. It is a work of art.
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