Monday, December 15, 2014
If you've been waiting to see Michael Keaton and Edward Norton running around in their undershorts (briefs, not boxers) this is the movie for you! THC and Mrs THC liked it.
uuhh . . .let's start again because that makes THC and spouse sound a little weird.
Birdman serves as a reminder that everyone associated with the entertainment industry needs to be kept separate from the rest of humanity since, as THC friend CC observed, they are "a bunch of broken crazies in a dismal environment". Did THC mention that he and the Mrs enjoyed the film?
hmmm . . . this is proving difficult. We'll try again.
Birdman is bizarre, odd, a bit gimmicky and full of pathetic actor self-loathing. It's also fascinating, funny, sad and compelling and yes, it will leave you scratching your head at times. Also, like so many films these days they could have edited out about 20 minutes without losing anything.
The story follows Riggan Thomson (Keaton), the washed up former action movie star of the fictional "Birdman" franchise and it's probably no coincidence that Keaton starred in two Batman films 20+ years ago before downshifting his career. Riggan is trying to resurrect his career and gain credibility as an actor by starring in a Broadway play based on an adaptation (by Riggan) of a Raymond Carver short story (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love) which he is also directing. His co-stars are played by Norton, Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough. Zach Galifianakis plays Riggan's lawyer and producer, Amy Ryan is Riggan's ex-wife and Emma Stone their daughter.
THC always liked Keaton and his off-kilter acting style (and personality) is great for this role which is definitely off-kilter. Edward Norton, who THC has not liked in other movies, is perfect here because his unlikeable mannerisms fit right in. Amy Ryan is good in everything and this movie is no different. THC used to enjoy Galifianakis in films like the original Hangover but he got pretty tiresome in more recent films (including the awful Hangover sequels); he's marvelous here. Watts and Riseborough are fine and can someone tell THC what they did with Emma Stone? She's always had big eyes but in Birdman they take up half her face. Did they create a CGI version of her head?
The film was shot in and around St James Theatre in Manhattan next to, and for one scene in, Times Square and is done in a way to make it look like one continuous shot. THC doesn't have a clue how they did it but the movie looks amazing - it just pops off the screen. The director is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu whose best-known movies, 21 Grams and Babel, sounded so grim THC avoided them.
THC won't tell you anything more about the story because he can't make sense of it but he can assure you he is not joking about the undershorts. Here's the trailer.