There may be a point to talking about Birdman. It was astounding on so many levels, a technical achievement I’m still scratching my head over. The characters were fantastic, and this is an actors’ movie. Everything came together to really elevate the art form this time.
It was a natural choice for the academy voters, a blending of cinema and theater in a novel way. Theater’s edge of the cliff performance meshed with Hollywood’s spectacular visual trickery. As each sequence is long and meticulously staged the result is like a live theater performance. The actors and crew were pushed to extremes.
Alejandro Gonzales is such an incredible director that it’s humbling. Add to that Emmanuel Lubezki, who is probably the best cinematographer today, and you’re in for an incredibly arresting experience that is focused, specific, and bold enough to go anywhere the narrative needs to go. There just aren’t enough films that aspire to this level.
The cast was stellar, and there were some laughs that just explode out of the unceasing tension the film builds. Even the musical score was unique and unexpected, a single drum kit and a master jazz drummer who’s just on fire.
The story deftly combines the play being staged with the personal life of Michael Keaton’s character, as he goes through a high pressure mental meltdown in front of the world. This is a memorable experience that I think earned its place.