The viewer is a salmon.
Swimming up streams of consciousness, occasionally leaping between parallel tributaries to follow movements of different characters.
That’s right, folks – the old head-hopping narrator.
Extra thought provoking because the voiceover only chimes in to pester the protagonist.
What’s most noteworthy about Birdman is exactly that: Creative and original storytelling techniques.
Another example is the stylistic editing: The film has the appearance of all occurring within one take.
Therefore the cutting is minimal. Which is incredibly refreshing.
Big names are visibly acting in the same space, oftentimes physically interacting.
There’s no ‘cut to close-up’ as characters deliver dialogue, which makes for a more organic viewing experience.
(Sidenote: Hollywood should ban the ‘cut to close-up.’)
Birdman isn’t going to be your favorite, but it’s still great.
The writing is strong; the protagonist’s plight is timely and moving. The characters interact compellingly. The subject matter is thought provoking.
Although this term is overused, it takes a ‘gritty’ in-depth look at stage acting.
The metahumor is consistent and pointed. Even the casting is ironic.
Michael Keaton playing the washed up retired superhero. Edward Norton as a pompous know-it-all veteran.
Wanna know who’s excellent? Naomi Watts.
She delivers a stellar performance as Lesley; in a role that somewhat calls back to Mulholland Drive, in which she plays a sexually conflicted up-and-coming actress.
Emma Stone is ten types of terrific, but they shouldn’t have spoiled her monologue in the trailer.
Turns out Zach Galifianakis can play off-type extremely well, which comes as no surprise.
Andrea Riseborough is lesser known, but holds her own.
Finally, Amy Ryan plays a totally different character from her role in Gone Baby Gone and fits in perfectly with a slew of other great performers.
Although the trailer spoils most, the special effects are decent enough.
The surreal portion is a welcome addition to the common cinematic experience, and contributes uniquely.
Birdman’s a visual treat, as they say.
People seem to enjoy this flick. After all, what’s not to like?
It’s still in limited release, but you shouldn’t have trouble finding a screening nearby.
Expect a moving dramatic piece about the thespian business and you shouldn’t feel disappointed.
As always, the best advice remains the same.
Be a salmon – expect nothing, and eventually, you’ll feel something.
Resonates nicely with the subtitle, no?