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Beverly Hills — Fox Searchlight's "Birdman" flew into limited release this weekend with a fantastic $103,750-per-screen average and plenty of Oscar potential. This comes on the heels of a New York press blitz built around a closing night New York Film Festival berth for the film and with the expectation for limited availability from the ensemble and key crew members during the upcoming awards season (and in lieu of a proper Los Angeles premiere, to boot). At the film's official Academy screening Sunday afternoon, Alejandro González Iñárritu's thematically rich, formally inventive opus drew a sizable turnout (800 or so people in the 1,000-seat venue) and a warm reception that seemed to indicate this one will do well with voters. Nevertheless, I'm mostly against taking reportage from Academy screenings to heart. So take any or all of this with a grain of salt. Generally this kind of thing is only an element »
- Kristopher Tapley
An abridged version of this review was originally posted in Nathaniel's weekly column at Towleroad. It is reposted here, with their permission.
A card in the bottom right hand of the star's mirror reads:
"A thing is a thing. Not what is said of that thing."
Which immediately complicates or maybe simplifies celebrity and art, two major themes (among a handful) of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's one of a kind new film experience. It's destined for major Oscar nominations and you should see it immediately. The movie has the simple and then complicated title of Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as befits its duality perfectly. This quote is never addressed in the film but it's always stubbornly lodged there in that mirror, defying or playfully encouraging conversation about what this movie actually is. And what is film criticism or its more popular cousin, »
- NATHANIEL R
Birdman, out Friday at the specialty box office in New York and Los Angeles, follows Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson, a has-been blockbuster superhero who is about to unveil a Broadway play in which he wrote, directed and stars, with hopes that the risk will bring him renewed acclaim and respectability. The Alejandro G. Inarritu dark comedy from Fox Searchlight and New Regency also stars Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Lindsay Duncan, and is made to appear to be lensed with one continuous shot. Read what top critics are saying about
- Ashley Lee
After a brief, sci-fi-style opening of a comet hurtling through the atmosphere, Birdman begins with a through-the-door view of Michael Keaton, seen from the back sitting cross-legged in a shabby Broadway dressing room, wearing nothing but white briefs and perched midair several feet above the furniture. He rotates to set his feet on the floor and with pointed finger sends a vase gliding across a table. The unbroken sequence tells us two things with economy and grace: That the camera will be our guide through Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s backstage tale, and that the story itself won’t be bound by realism. It will instead unfold with the unsettled and unsettling restlessness of a troubled soul in search of a resting place.
Our uneasy pilgrim is Riggan Thomson, an action-movie star whose sell-by date has long since passed. As fully embodied by Keaton, his once virile visage now seems dessicated »
- Jeremy Gerard
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
His use of natural lighting, the gorgeous compositions he creates often on the fly, those long takes. This is what we talk about when we talk about Emmanuel Lubezki, the Mexican cinematographer responsible for such arresting imagery in the films of Terrence Malick (The New World, The Tree of Life, To the Wonder), Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y tu mamá también, Gravity), the Brothers Coen (Burn After Reading), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Anna”, a short in the anthology To Each His Own Cinema). He is the only cinematographer in recent memory, possibly next to Roger Deakins, that pushes the form to its limits and has name recognition for such. The naturalistic beauty of The Tree of Life was nothing compared to the – wait for it – physics-defying work in Gravity. And here he is again, »
- Kyle Turner
Michael Keaton leads and ensemble cast in Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.
Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, an actor who rose to fame as masked superhero Birdman but has since seen the spotlight fade on his career. In order to stage a comeback, Thompson mounts a Broadway play as the writer-director-star in a move that comes with its own set of struggles. As the play approaches opening night, Thomson battles all manner of egos – his own and his stage co-stars including the egotistical Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) – as well as family troubles involving his daughter Sam (Emma Stone), and a theatre critic who has it out for his play.
While we wouldn’t go as far to say that Keaton is as washed-up as his on-screen counterpart, there’s more than a few similarities between his self-deprecating performance as Thomson and his past as Tim Burton’s Batman.
- Rachel West
By Anjelica Oswald
Every year, the glittering lights and unique experience of Broadway lures Hollywood actors to the East Coast; some are veterans of the stage and others are making their Broadway debut. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), James Franco (This is the End) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) all made their Broadway debuts earlier this year, with O’Dowd receiving a Tony nomination for Of Mice and Men and Cranston winning a Tony for All The Way. Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), who hadn’t been on Broadway since his 2004 run in Assassins, scored his first Tony nomination and win for Hedwig and the Angry Inch this summer.
The Broadway lineup for the end of the year hosts a number of Hollywood actors making their Broadway debuts, and they are joined by an illustrious group of Broadway vets returning to the stage.
- Anjelica Oswald
Glenn Whipp says to "think again" if you believe the Oscar race for Best Actress is "thin" this year. He partially blames "the allure of the new, with some pundits flailing their arms each time an unseen movie debuts." A few days ago, Julianne Moore ("Stil Alice") jumped to the tops of prediction lists strictly because she came out of nowhere and was the most recent person to be screened. Along with Moore, Reese Witherspoon ("Wild") and Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything") are strong possible choices. He also adds in the lesser-viewed Gugu Mbatha-Raw ("Belle"), Marion Cotillard ("The Immigrant"), Lindsay Duncan ("Le Week-End"), and Jenny Slate ("Obvious Child") to consider. L.A. Times -Break- Join the lively film and TV discussions going on right now in the Gold Derby message boards Gregory Ellwood provides eight important revelations after Venice, Telluride, and »
Stone, sporting a newly cropped hairdo, looked elegant in an emerald green Valentino couture gown, while co-star Keaton arrived in a black tuxedo.
The were joined by fellow Birdman stars including Edward Norton, with wife Shauna Robertson, and Andrea Riseborough, who looked dramatic in a black high-neck gothic-style dress with a silver cross, while wearing her hair up in a bouffant quiff.
Amy Ryan, who stars as Keaton's character's long-suffering ex-wife, was also in attendance, looking understated in a strapless navy crepe gown.
He attempts to recapture the spotlight by starring in a Broadway play, but the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur.
Venetian perennial Alejandro Inarritu opens this year’s Venice Film Festival with the exhilarating Birdman, a self-referential, biting comedy that channels something of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off but this time it’s for the Twitter generation.
The setting is a Broadway theatre, and our hero (or should I say superhero?) is aging Hollywood star Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), he of the Birdman superhero trilogy, last seen spreading his wings in the early 1990s. Now Thomson has decided to bring his stage adaptation of a Raymond Carver story to the stage, writing, directing and starring in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.
Has he undertaken too great a task? Is he just another Hollywood has-been using the New York theatre scene to boost his ego and show of his acting chops? The evil Times critic appears to think so and she is determined that he fail. She is played by Lindsay Duncan, »
- Jo-Ann Titmarsh
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman premiered at the Venice Film Festival only a short time ago and the first reviews are finally hitting the web and they are glowing as well as informative. Alonso Duralde's review at The Wrap the film tells us Inarritu and cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki (Gravity) "have used camera and editing tricks to make the film look like one continuous take, and while it sounds gimmicky, the constantly moving camera and seeming lack of edits underscore the jitteriness of the proceedings". Peter Debruge at Variety is ecstatic in his review opening with a paragraph that should get you primed to see the pic once it hits theaters on October 17: A quarter-century after Batman ushered in the era of Hollywood mega-tentpoles -- hollow comicbook pictures manufactured to enthrall teens and hustle merch -- a penitent Michael Keaton returns with the comeback of the century, Birdman or (The »
- Brad Brevet
Venice - Truth or dare? This is a game played by two characters in magnificently acidic metatextual comedy "Birdman." It's also the film as a three-word question. Truth or dare? Real stage actor or star? You can have your artistic integrity, or you can have a hit. You can go Method, or you can really fly. You can be Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), or you can be Birdman (Riggan Thomson). Initially, "Birdman" poses as a trenchant critique of the seemingly endless parade of men in capes that is the summer blockbuster season (Michael Fassbender and Robert Downey Jr. are name-checked as fine actors currently otherwise occupied), but it's actually rather more nuanced than that. The values of the sober-minded art espoused by a poisonous critic (Lindsay Duncan) and the untrustworthy joys of escapist cinema are both probed and prodded in this film. It's impossible for a film featuring the nightmare »
- Catherine Bray
A quarter-century after “Batman” ushered in the era of Hollywood mega-tentpoles — hollow comicbook pictures manufactured to enthrall teens and hustle merch — a penitent Michael Keaton returns with the comeback of the century, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” a blisteringly hot-blooded, defiantly anti-formulaic look at a has-been movie star’s attempts to resuscitate his career by mounting a vanity project on Broadway. , that will electrify the industry, captivate arthouse and megaplex crowds alike, send awards pundits into orbit and give fresh wings to Keaton’s career.
See Also: Michael Keaton Bursts Into Oscar Race
Keaton was a controversial choice to play the Caped Crusader back in 1989, though the role was the best and worst thing that could have happened to the “Mr. Mom” star, who became world-renowned but never found another role of that stature — and who didn’t get nearly the same boost from working with Tarantino (on »
- Peter Debruge
The film stars Michael Keaton as washed-up actor Riggan Thomson, who long outgrew the titular superhero role.
It follows his struggle to return to the spotlight as he joins a Broadway play.
At the same time, he finds the line between reality and fiction beginning to blur.
Birdman will open in Us cinemas on October 17 and in the UK on January 2, 2015. »
Today, a new international trailer has arrived for the black comedy/drama in which Michael Keaton plays a washed up actor mostly famous for playing a superhero and is now trying to mount a Broadway play. Lindsay Duncan, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts also star.
- Garth Franklin
Shall I count the reasons we should all be massively excited for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman? It boasts an incredible cast, hails from a truly brilliant director and tells the darkly comedic tale of a washed-up actor mounting a comeback, to name a few of many.
Additionally, the trailers have painted the picture of a film that’s both ambitious in terms of its story (which may well double as a meta commentary on both Keaton’s career and the foolhardiness of superhero worship) and its style (like Rope, it appears to have been shot in several massive long takes woven together to make it appear unbroken). Now, a full-length international trailer for Birdman has hit – and it’s pretty spectacular.
- Isaac Feldberg
Fox Searchlight Pictures has released the international trailer for their upcoming black comedy film from Alejandro Gonzalez Inaritu "Birdman" starring Michael Keaton, Lindsay Duncan, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts.
Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) - 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.Have a look at the trailer below.
The film hits theaters on October 17, 2014.
Have a look at the international trailer below.
- Kellvin Chavez
Representing SundanceTV’s latest stab at a prestige miniseries, “The Honorable Woman” places Maggie Gyllenhaal at the center of what’s otherwise an old-fashioned British political thriller, centered around the combustible quagmire of the Middle East. The first half of this brilliantly cast, rather ploddingly paced, eight-part production is classy but only periodically eventful, an understated affair that can be admired for its ambition and elevated brow, but which fails to create much urgency about hanging around long enough to unlock its mysteries. If the channel’s hoping for another “Top of the Lake,” “Woman” doesn’t rise to that level.
Gyllenhaal plays Nessa Stein, the British-born-and-raised daughter of an Israeli arms procurer assassinated in front of her as a child. Now an adult, she has transformed her father’s corporation into a technology firm determined to use its influence to spur peace by bringing its services to the West Bank, »
- Brian Lowry
The Honourable Woman is the latest series to showcase sleek chic for its heroines. This shift in television wardrobes gives big brands a starring role in the drama
Why The Honourable Woman is the most stylish show on TV in pictures
Last week's episode of The Honourable Woman had all the ingredients to make it the best thing on TV: pretzel-like plot twists, excellent swearing from MI6 chief Julia, and political skulduggery conducted in lifts. Told in a flashback to events eight years ago, the episode also offered up something else tasty for the eagle-eyed (or easily distracted, depending on your point of view). Nessa Stein the protagonist played by Maggie Gyllenhaal wore jewellery for the first time.
Hugo Blick's drama makes compelling viewing with plot strands including spoiler alert! how Nessa's child was passed off as Atika's, and whether Stephen Rea's Hugh will get back together with his wife, »
- Lauren Cochrane
Bruce Norris, whose Clybourne Park won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, returns to Playwrights Horizons next spring with The Qualms, which opens Sunday (July 13) at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The New York edition will begin previews May 22, 2015 at the off-Broadway nonprofit. Director of both is the very busy Pam MacKinnon, also on board with the upcoming all-star Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance marqueed by Glenn Close, John Lithgow and Lindsay Duncan. Steppenwolf describes the play this way: “At a beachside apartment complex, a group of friends gathers for their regular evening of food, drink, drugs and partner-swapping. When Chris and Kristy attempt […] »
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