Run time: 119mins
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Lindsay Duncan, Andrea Riseborough
Synopsis: Struggling actor Riggan Thomson is still remembered today for his portrayal of superhero Birdman from his early career. Fed up with only being recognised for one thing, Riggan stages a comeback with a difference. Riggan aims to broaden his fan base and win back some of his credibility through a performance on Broadway, but his biggest problem has always been his ego and taking orders from people is not on his to-do list. Can Riggan put aside his feelings of self-importance in order to rekindle his career?
Acclaimed Director Alejandro González Iñárritu adds to his impressive body of work (Biutiful, Babel, 21 Grams, Amores Perros) with this coruscating film about a washed-up actor (Michael Keaton – never better) who once played an iconic movie superhero but who must now overcome his ego and family problems as he attempts to stage a Broadway play and reclaim his past glory.
Birdman is a very dark and complex comedy about what it’s like to try to fund a major theatrical project, and be a respected, credible actor while remaining well liked and a good father.
Riggan Thomas was once a household name as ‘The Birdman’ – an iconic super hero. But now he has turned down a fourth instalment of the franchise and decides to reinvent himself starring as well as writing and directing his new version of the Raymond Carver story‘ What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ on Broadway. This he hopes will restore his credibility, but events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another.
With a terrific script, incredible photography from Emmanuel Lubezki – filmed to look like one continuous take, inside Manhattan’s landmark St James Theatre – we follow Riggans’ frenetic attempts to keep it all together. At stake is his own confidence and fragile relationship with cast and crew – co-star Lesley (Naomi Watts), girlfriend Laura (Andrea Riseborough) and most of all his resentful daughter Sam (Emma Stone), recently out of rehab. Into the explosive mix comes replacement actor Mike (Edward Norton), a fanatical method actor. Riggans is also trying to schmooze an acidic and powerful critic, Tabitha (Lindsay Duncan) who has threatened to shut him down with a scathing review.
Birdman feels utterly authentic about its world of actors and theatre-land and also has a great musical score by Antonio Sanchez, with incredible drumming. Destined to become this year’s must-see experience, it is an unforgettable masterpiece.
Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox