Birdman – Movie Review

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Dear Friends,

For a long time I haven’t written about any films or shows I have seen, as I was too busy rehearsing and performing my own music theater show at the Hudson Theater in LA. We had wonderful musicians, a talented dancer performing with me, and the play “ Illusions “ being directed by the Broadway director Randy Johnson ( “One night with Janice Joplin “ ), was a hit ! I was so happy with the response of the audience and the great reviews . I had a wonderful time and got great reviews. But now with the beginning of the New 2015 Year I have to write about all the films I am seeing.

I will start with a great one, “Birdman,” a brilliant film by the director/writer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, with the most incredible cast of performers.

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The story might as well be called, “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance,” as one critic calls the Broadway play in the movie. If you are not an actor you will have a hard time figuring out the meaning or the sense of the movie, but you will definitely appreciate Michael Keaton’s amazing performance as Riggan, in the part of a movie actor grown old, who has decided to produce, direct and star in a Broadway theater play.

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I felt the passion and the pain of an actor who is still living the part of the superhero “Birdman” from the movie that made him famous. Riggan (Michael Keaton) hears the voice which talks to him like the “Birdman” at times when he feels insecure of himself in the theater. He even tries to behave like him.

As an actor I know how easy it is to fall in love with a part that gives you the freedom you don’t have in life, and you secretly keep living that role in your real life. The passage from film to Broadway is not easy. The critics are ready to devour you to pieces! And as it becomes obvious that the play will not be a success, the producers decide to get a well known , established Broadway actor to play opposite Riggan, in the part of Mike. That part is brilliantly executed by Edward Norton. And the war between the two actors starts .

birdman-EmmaStone In the middle is Riggan’s daughter Sam (Emma Stone), who is incredible in the part. She is the only real creature, unspoiled from the movies and the theater, who sees the reality of life as it is. She tries to put some sense in these, totally self-absorbed actors, who live only through their parts just like Mike (Edward Norton) says, “I don’t want people to like me, I don’t give a damn – I can be real only on the stage.”

birdman-costumeThis incredible conflict between two people – actors, one of which still lives in his Birdman character and needs his freedom from repeating every night a dialogue he doesn’t’ believe in, and the other living a real life only on the stage– creates the drama, and the plot of this film. It ends in a catastrophic way, as one can only imagine.

The essence of the film comes from the fact that none of these two characters live in reality, nor understand each other .They are too busy living in their dream worlds.
That is the tragedy that consumes Riggan.

The acting and directing of the film is superb. The cast is unbelievable. This is Michael Keaton’s best part so far, unbelievable! Edward Norton is fantastic and Emma Stone is a revelation. The acting in every case of all the cast is superb. It is the best ensemble acting so far. You should see this movie!

Irina Maleeva