Celebrating Great Films

Sunday, February 01, 2015


#125 at the time of writing.

The most original film I've seen in a long time - probably in years. Having seen director Iñárritu's Amores Perros and Biutiful, I initially steered clear of this film, expecting it to be beautifully filmed, gritty, and soul-crushingly depressing. But more than once I heard friends say that this was something else - and indeed it is sublime. It's funny, hopeful, and always unexpected. The story fizzes along with captivating energy. I loved it.

It's about a washed up Hollywood superstar, famous for (long ago) playing Birdman à la Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, who tries to reinvent himself as a respectable Broadway artiste. But he must overcome towering doubts, hubris and the bunch of wackos he calls family and friends. The style is very theatrical, with no visible cuts, plenty of backstage shenanigans and disarming magic realism.

I totally didn't realise until afterwards that Birdman was a real thing. That makes this movie the craziest adaptation since Adaptation. And that can only be a good thing.

(I just read that Antonio Sanchez's musical score, performed almost entirely by drums, was disqualified by the music branch of the Academy Awards. Why?! It's great!)

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