The Good
  • Fantastic acting jobs throughout
  • Best soundtrack I have ever seen in a movie
  • Iñárritu yet again proves what an outstanding filmmaker he is
The Bad
  • Obviously a little weird but that was by (successful) design
4.8Overall Score

Wow, these months are proving out to be pretty exhausting as I actually feel the pressure to watch all the nominated films…so here it was the 3rd movie in 4 days and more are to come. Now, the great thing about this movie initially was that as often as I watched the trailer – I wasn’t able to figure out what this movie is about so there was no risk of being spoiled going in. And now what did I think after the 119 minutes with Birdman. Well, I thought it was again something completely different with some absolutely outstanding performance as well as some of some of the best cinematography supported by a fantastic soundtrack…those were a lot of ingredients, let’s go through them one by one.

Absolutely outstanding performances …

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Michael Keaton – or as we all know him the first real Batman who was about to hit it big after his two installments in 1989 and 1992…and well, didn’t really – is Birdman. Alejandro González Iñárritu choose this very Michael Keaton as his main character in his movie which is summarized by IMDB as “A washed up actor, who once played an iconic superhero”; you just can’t come up with a better choice of actor for this plot. And he totally nails his role – he is delusional, he is angry, he is weird and he wears tighty whites like Walter White in his best moments – he carries so many great moments of this film, absolutely outstanding. And the great thing about this film and its cast is, he is only one of many great performances. Next up, Edward Norton; I have always been a big fan of his and in my mind this feels like the first really good film since 25th Hour. And he just delivers such a great performance as the narcissist theater actor and delivers some hard laughs, he basically embodies the method acting by playing a method actor…it can’t get any better than that now, can it. Oh yes it can, because here comes the star who I am now really rooting for at the Academy night … Emma Stone. Aside from her freakishly good acting performance as a weird stoned out yet loving daughter, she delivers one of the greatest monologues which I have seen in recent film history – absolutely outstanding. Now the funny thing about this whole cast was the one person, I almost forgot, Zack Galafinakis in his first role as an actual normal person who I didn’t even know he could play – so my hats off to you, Zach, you can play kind of normal people.

…Something completely different…

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I have watched most of Iñárritu’s movies and they would probably be really high in my all-time favorites; Babel probably higher than 21 Grams – because after that I basically just wanted to crawl in a hole and feel bad about myself for a long time. But all his movies are just “completely different”, they show us aspects or the meaning of life and its interpersonal connections in new ways. I was always mesmerized by his films (and I am really psyched now that I yet have to see his potentially greatest piece Amores Perros). And Birdman did not fail to deliver in the “something completely different” category, as already laid out up there, I went in and didn’t really know what to expect. When I left the theatre, I had seen a movie which is certainly one of its kind and I couldn’t even put my hand on the genre. Is it satire, is it media critic or maybe even a different kind of dramedy…I think it is fair to say: All of the above. But where other movies would fail when trying to throw in too many ingredients, Birdman delivers an absolutely outstanding experience which I will remember in a very positive light for years to come.

Cinematography and Sound

Here is probably what elevated this movie to a full 5-star review; it wasn’t only outstanding acting and a weirdly different story, no it was pictures and sound which really set it apart. Every shot and take of the narrow rooms in Broadway were cut and shot so perfectly – often in one long shot. And every snappy and witty dialogue was almost always underlined by a set of drums which were equally odd and perfectly fitting. Everything just blended in perfectly.

The Wrap

It took me quite some time to finally finish this review and often I find it problematic to review movies after a few days have passed. But in the case of Birdman, the longer I think about the movie, the more I think what a masterpiece this was; it just gets better and better….

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  • Running time: 119 min
  • Genre: Drama, Comedy
  • Year: 2014



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