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‘Birdman’ Review

‘Birdman’ Review

By December 4, 2014 Pulp Non-Fiction No Comments
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Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton
Rating: ❤❤❤❤ ½

The last time we saw an Iñárritu film was in 2010 with Biutiful, a moving story about the love of a father, starring Javier Bardem, and then we had to wait four long years to see his cinematic greatness once more. And the wait was oh, so worthy.

Birdman is the greatest, most beautiful thing I’ve watched this year, and if it gets ignored in the upcoming award season, I’m going to be extremely pissed. Here’s why:

First off, the technique. Birdman was filmed in a way that appears to be one continuous shot. It’s pretty genius because during most of the film you really can’t tell when the cuts were made. This technique amplifies the drama and tension of the story, making the film as a whole a very complete emotional and visual trip.

If you thought Gravity showed Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki’s photography skills at its finest, Birdman‘s photography definitely kicked Gravity‘s ass. The secret to successfully make it look like one continuous shot lies not only on the skills of the editor and the vision of the director, but also on the ability of the photographer, as the light serves as an element to make it balanced. That continuous feel is thanks to his talent and ability.

Birdman also happens to be one of the very few movies I’ve seen where everybody, absolutely everybody gives an incredible performance.

Michael Keaton is at his best: he brought that depressed artist vibe in perfect amounts; enough to touch your heart but not so much as to make you feel like he’s a huge downer. Emma Stone once more proves that she can do drama as well as she does comedy. I really liked her character; you can absolutely feel her struggle.

It has been a few days since I watched it and I’m still thinking about Edward Norton’s performance. Honestly, I was blown away by it; I don’t even know how to put it into words.

The story is one hell of a trip too. The script was written by Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr and Armando Bo. I find it to be weirdly complex: complex in terms of how it can be a philosophical journey, an emotional peek at an artist’s life and at the same time it’s funny at some points and keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Iñárritu is one of the “three amigos” alongside Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro (mi gordo). Even though they now work outside México, they do not forget where they come from and they always add small details to their movies that allude to our home-country (Surprise! I’m from México too). Of course, Birdman is no exception.

WARNING! - Spoiler Click to see it.
Although it’s not a visual thing, you can clearly listen to the “tamales oaxaqueños” vendor as well as the “camotes” one. So precious.

Days have passed and I still find myself thinking about this movie and its… well, its everything: the technique, which blew my mind because of how well done it is (and because I would love to learn and master it someday); the story, which made me re-evaluate my life and future plans; Lubezki’s photography, the acting (hello Edward Norton) and everything else that’s in it.

I truly believe Birdman will be strong competition in the upcoming award season.

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So, Gravity (2013), Birdman (2014) and Crimson Peak (2015)… The three amigos are coming back, stronger than ever!

And thank you, Iñárritu: this movie made me remember why I love you so much. Same to you, Lubezki. Keep rocking.

 

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