Birdman – ***

Posted: February 7, 2015 in 2014, Dramedy, USA, XXX

A once successful actor (who scored three blockbuster hits playing a flying masked superhero called ‘birdman’) has adapted a story by Raymond Carver for his directorial and acting debut on broadway. It’s his way of showing the world that he’s more than just a Hollywood action figure. It’s his way of proving the world that he’s still as relevant and talented as he thinks himself. But a few weeks before the actual premiere things go from bad to worse.

Birdman is a rightful contender for best movie of the year. It’s a very entertaining dramedy with excellent acting by Michael Keaton as the troubled main character, Emma Stone as his daughter/personal assistant and Edward Norton as the talented, but arrogant stage actor who outshines him on stage. All three are nominated for an Oscar and rightfully so. But Naomi Watts is great as well, even though her character is quite simple. And Zach Galifianakis shows that he can be more than just Zach Galifianakis as the producer of the play.

But the real treat of the movie is the awesome camera work (and hence directing as well). Most of the story takes place behind the scenes of a theatre company on Broadway. The way the camera follows the characters as they walk through the small corridors and rooms is outstanding. It’s also  pretty amazing how efficient you can use the same shot as a link between two scenes that are separated in time. The cinematography and editing are brilliant. The soundtrack is weird, but efficient too. The film is filled with cool little details and original shots that make you wonder why you’ve never seen that before. The dialogue is hilarious at times with dozens of memorable quotes. It’s basically a masterpiece.

However, the brilliance doesn’t last until the end. The final 20 minutes don’t feel original at all and become even predictable. It’s still great, but it just doesn’t equal the quality of the first 90 minutes.

Nevertheless: A MUST!


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