This review was supposed to come out in honor of the Oscar nominations being released last week. However, I haven’t had much time until now so it’s a little late. But here I am with my review for last year’s Best Picture winner that I hadn’t seen until last week.
Birdman is about an actor struggling to stay in the spotlight (Michael Keaton) after playing a superhero earlier in his career. As a last ditch effort, he decides to direct and star in a Broadway play, hiring a hot shot actor (Edward Norton) in the process.
I have to say, this is a good movie without a doubt, but I’m not really sure it’s best picture worthy. Let’s start with some things I liked about it. First of all, I love the way this movie is directed and shot. It is designed to look like it is done all in one take. Obviously it’s not, and you can tell where cuts happen if you look hard enough. However, all the scenes are very long takes at the very least and it’s impressive to watch. I am by no means an actor so I don’t know for sure, but I’d imagine this puts a lot of pressure on the actors. They all do a phenomenal job carrying this movie, particularly Keaton and Norton. Others pop up and do well (Emma Stone is noteworthy as Keaton’s daughter), but they steal the show.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, they steal the show because the story itself is just not that interesting. I was pretty bored with the movie and the only thing that kept me invested was the directing and acting. I didn’t really care about what was happening all that much and at times it was a little confusing. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. While it wrapped up some of the characters, others just disappear during the last half hour or so. For example, Edward Norton’s character never really gets wrapped up, and he isn’t the only one.
While I do have some problems with it, this is still a good movie, if for nothing else other than the way it’s shot and acted. I think either Whiplash or American Sniper would have been more deserving of Best Picture last year, but it’s not a bad movie by any means. It just didn’t quite do it for me. That said, I’ll give Birdman a 3.5/5.
What did you guys think of Birdman? Let me know in the comments.