Birdman, the best movie of 2014, scooped up 4 Oscars in this year’s Academy Awards. The well rated movie won the Best Picture Award, Best Cinematography and Original Screenplay. Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director, co-producer and screenplay co-writer also won the Best Director award for the movie. The movie had 9 unprecedented nominations. Alejandro’s input for the success of the movie was immense.
IMDb rated the movie 7.9 out of 10, Rotten Tomatoes 93%, Roger Erbert 4 out of 4 and Metacritic 88%. The movie also won other awards including the Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards. It also won the Best Screenplay, and Michael Keaton won the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Award for his role as leading actor of the movie at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.
It took 2 years for the writers to complete the script and the movie was meticulously and painstakingly shot. The camera work depicts most of the film as one continuous take. Alejandro’s idea for doing this was to immerse the protagonist in an unavoidable reality, while at the same time pulling viewers along with him. Experts who heard of this clearly said the idea was suicidal. It was a step with two feet in unknown waters. However, Alejandro was able to execute it successfully. The movie is 119 minutes long and in English.
The sound quality, musical backing and visual effects are good. The plot is excellent and reflects on the realities of life. It is about a drowned Hollywood actor, Riggan Thomson (Keaton), who wants to pick himself up by writing, directing and starring in a new movie by Broadway. Riggan is picked for the leading role. He has a difficult start especially in the previews. Along the line he chanced upon his daughter, Samantha (Emma Stone), a recovering addict, using marijuana. He criticises her but she revolts with some harsh remarks.
The situation becomes worse when Riggan also finds out that his daughter is flirting with Mike Shiner (Edward Norton), the brilliant but volatile method actor he brought in to replace Ralph (Jeremy Shamos). Videos of Riggan in his underwear walking through Times Square go viral and it tears him apart. He had accidentally locked himself out of the theatre and the only way he could get inside was to walk out there.
The influential critic, Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan), also tells Riggan she will give a bad review of his play once it comes out. He cannot contain it and drinks himself to stupor, passing out on the street.
On the opening night of the movie, in a role in which Riggan’s character is supposed to commit suicide, he shoots himself on stage in the head with a real pistol instead of a fake one. He is rushed to the hospital as the audience give him a standing ovation. It is later revealed that he just messed up his suicide by blowing off his nose. Even his worst critic Dickinson is impressed by his performance.
Birdman really deserves all the awards it won for the year. It is a good movie that teaches true lessons.