Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Best Picture: "Birdman," 2014

Movie Stats:
Released 2014 (Italy)
American, in English
Director - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Stars - Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone

Plot Summary:
Has-been actor Riggan (Keaton), famous for playing a superhero, tries to resurrect his failing career by directing and starring in an edgy Broadway play. Norton co-stars as Mike, Riggan’s, um, co-star, and Stone as Riggan’s daughter, Sam.

Lots of blue language, violence, drug use (marijuana only), heavily implied sexy times, and brief partial male nudity (butt only).

Bad Stuff:
That persistent drumbeat made me want to blow my brains out, so I guess that means I kind of [SPOILER] got where Riggan was coming from. [SPOILER]

There’s a certain type of open ending that I like (“Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,” the original “The Italian Job”). This isn’t one of them. In fact, it really disappointed me.

The stuff between Mike and Sam was SO predictable. For a hot minute, I thought the movie wasn’t going to go there. And then it did.

Good Stuff:
Edward Norton was amazing.

It took me days to decide how I felt about it. While that might not seem like a good thing on the surface, I can certainly appreciate a movie that sticks with me and makes me think. To me, that’s a fine piece of film making, no matter how I ultimately feel about the film.

I wasn’t as blown away by the fake one-shot thing as everyone else seems to be, but once again, I can appreciate how special it was.

The Verdict:
I really did think about this movie a lot. It took me weeks to decide whether or not I liked it, so I’m kind of glad that I didn’t know it was the winner until recently. It gave me time to gather my thoughts. Ultimately, I decided that this movie didn’t really do it for me. I recognize and applaud what’s clever about it. All of the acting was really good. I also give a lot of credit to the make up artists and costume designers, because they managed to take a woman I normally find very beautiful (Emma Stone) and make her look so depressed/strung out/dirty that I found her repulsive. However, the story didn’t really hold together for me, especially not in the end. I wish that they would have done something different with Riggan’s character. I can think of several other ways it could have gone that would have been more compelling (to me anyway). Also, I thought the character of Sam was almost painfully cliche.

I give it 3 stars.

Note: The Best Picture Master list has been updated to include this movie. It comes in at #55.


Patricia said...

Oh wow, you are going to be with your Best Picture project forever eh? I didn't really think that through.

As you know I agree with you on several points, esp. Drum solo soundtrack, tremendous acting, Sam as a cliche character.

Overall, I came away with two things:

Edward Norton is AMAZING.
The movie didn't work for me.

I also was quite impressed with Andrea Riseborough, who played Riggin's current love interest.

balyien said...

I don't think I really thought it through before I started it either. :P

And yes, pretty much everyone was really good in this, including Ms. Riseborough.