Monday, October 20, 2014

Michael Keaton Flies High In Dramedy, 'Birdman'

By Darlene Donloe

Birdman is one of the best films of the year!!! 

It just doesn’t get any better than this!

Not only is the story intriguing and the acting spectacular, Director Alejandro G. Inarritu's (Babel, 21 Grams) direction is frickin incredible. Almost the entire movie looks as if it was filmed using one continuous tracking shot. What? Yep!

The way it’s shot, coupled with the acting of Michael Keaton and the strong performances from the rest of the ensemble cast, makes this film a must-see and a true contender for one of Hollywood’s biggest awards. Uh, huh, I mean the Oscar®.

Michael Keaton

Keaton is mesmerizing in a role that is memorable for many reasons.  Before this film Keaton was remembered for Beetlejuice, Mr. Mom and, of course, Batman.  His role as Riggan Thomson in this film is perched right alongside those three roles.

Emma Stone gives a great turn as Riggan’s daughter, Sam. Edward Norton is equally impressive as the self-absorbed actor Mike Shiner. Naomi Watts lights up the screen as an actress trying to enjoy her first time on Broadway. Zach Galifianakis  is spectacular as Riggan’s manager/partner Brandon Vander Hey.

(l-r) Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis

What a refreshing presentation. This film is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor - famous for portraying an iconic superhero-as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself, which is no small feat.

Keaton plays the washed-up former action movie star who, while attempting his comeback must put up the nonsense of a mercurial lead actor (Norton), an anxious business partner (Galifianakis) and a daughter (Stone), who has just returned from rehab.   With all of that to contend with, he’s also  haunted by the specter of his most famous character who likes to say nasty things about what he thinks of the actor’s life.

Keaton is brilliant!!!! He’s on edge. He’s driven. He’s hopeful! He’s skeptical! He’s scared!

You can’t help but love this quirky, inventive film. It’s firing on all cylinders. There isn’t a weak link anywhere. It’s funny! It’s ambitious! But, most of all, it’s great fun!

Michael Keaton

Emma Stone

(l-r) Michael Keaton and Edward Norton

Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough and Naomi Watts star.  

Birdman (Fox Searchlight) is Rated R (for language throughout, some sexual content and brief violence). Running time: 1 hr. 59 min.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Birdman gets an E (excellent).

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