Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton) is a once famous action star directing, starring, writing and producing his first Broadway play adapted from a Raymond Carver book. The failures and missed opportunities by capitalizing on his beloved action character “Birdman” begin to eat at his thoughts, feather with his emotions and jeopardize his capability of becoming a respected actor.
Michael Keaton was perfect casting really because this character reflects his career playing Batman twenty years ago and trying to redefine his career. I’m not sure if this role was written for him but it could have been.
Naomi Watts is stellar as Lesley, an actress in her first Broadway show and married to Mike Shiner. Edward Norton is slick and perfection as Mike Shiner, established Broadway actor who tries to take advantage of Riggan. Emma Stone was good as Sam, Riggan’s daughter who has recently gotten out of rehab. Andrea Riseborough is great as Laura, an actress in the play who is also in a relationship with Riggan. Zach Galifianakis is truly wonderful as Brandon, Riggan’s best friend who is trying to make sure the show goes on. This role is a great departure for him. Amy Ryan rounds out the cast excellently as Riggan’s ex-wife, Sylvia.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu creates a dreamlike world with his unique direction. The team of writers create a sarcastic and ironic look at what is current in Hollywood with aging actors and the satiable social media we live in. The music adds a great touch with the look at Riggan’s psyche.
This film was clever, complicated, humorous and quirky. You can wait until this film comes out on DVD to watch it unless you are going through “good movie withdrawal.”