Actor Riggan Thomson is most famous for his movie role from over twenty years ago of the comic book superhero Birdman in the blockbuster movie of the same name and its two equally popular sequels. His association with the role took over his life, where Birdman is more renowned than "Riggan Thomson" the actor. Now past middle age, Riggan is trying to establish himself as a true artist by writing, directing, starring in and co-producing with his best friend Jake what is his Broadway debut, an adaptation of Raymond Carver's story, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. He is staking his name, what little artistic reputation that comes with that name and his life savings on the project, and as such will do anything needed to make the play a success. As he and Jake go through the process of the previews toward opening night, Riggan runs into several issues: needing to find a replacement for the integral supporting male role the night before the first preview; hiring the talented ...Written by
It's chaotic and loses focus now and again, but it is ambitious with some of the best acting you will see in any movie this year. It is witty and self aware and there are many who simply won't "get it". If your tastes lean more to the obvious or straight forward, this is not the movie for you. If you like imaginative, challenging, and visually stunning films that deal with ego, passion, love, weakness, insecurity and redemption, this is worth your time.
Unfortunately some subplots are completely forgotten and character arcs begun but not finished, but there is so much rewarding here to be found these are mostly forgiven shortcomings. The editing and scene structure plays like a stream of consciousness, but the consciousness of a very neurotic person. And while there are several standout performances in a uniformly excellent cast, Keaton is the the focus and he is amazing. He runs the gauntlet of neurosis and desperation and pulls it off with an amazing balancing act between insanity and relatability. Perhaps not the best film of the year, but a very memorable one.
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