MOVIE REVIEW: “Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”


“Birdman” is a unique if not altogether exceptional piece of film-making from Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Brilliantly cast, “Birdman” stars Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson, an aging Hollywood has-been action star who became an icon as “Birdman”, a fictionalized comic book hero recreated for the screen. Thomson leaves the West Coast to make a name for himself on Broadway where he adapts, directs and stars in his own production. He of course faces the obvious challenges: he’s not from New York, he’s a screen actor – not a stage actor – and he’s constantly wrestling with being upstaged by his co-star, Mike, played by the ever-adaptive Edward Norton. But this summary of the plot hardly does justice to this wily film.

Thomson (Keaton) is presented as a man less at odds with the world and more at odds with himself and his own sense of self-worth. In his effort to prove he’s got what it takes he enters into an all or nothing gamble, refinancing one of his few remaining assets – a home set-aside for his daughter, Sam  – to raise the money for the completion of his Broadway debut. To ratchet up the pressure, Sam has recently left rehab after being treated for drug abuse and is struggling to find a place in her father’s quest for meaning. (Read More)

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