New Regency Pictures, M Prods, Le Grisbi Productions,

Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton) is a pretty much washed up movie star. He was a big hit in the blockbuster film Birdman playing a superhero name, imagine this! Birdman. But without anything much going on anymore, Riggan is slowly losing his mind, it seems. He has written a stage play, and sees it as the way to bring his name back into the limelight, but at the same time is fighting to keep his sanity. Things are not going very good with the show, and once he makes a key theater critic angry, she vows to destroy the show, Riggan may be going all the way towards insanity.

As the previews end and the theater darkens before the opening of “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” a short feature begins with the title: “The Crimson Permanent Assurance”. This is an inside look at the internal workings of an accounting/insurance firm that embark on an epic battle between offices sailing their skyscraper offices down the streets of the city fighting to the death with each other. What a silly piece of film, and brilliant, mostly because it’s only a few minutes long, and it’s Monty Python absurd. Imagine a full length film about the daily operations of the internal mechanisms of an insurance office. That’s kind of what’s wrong with Birdman. I have always felt that if the Academy pats itself on the back with the honor of a picture of the year, it will naturally be something I’m going to hate. There have been many cases of the pure absurdity of Picture of the Year which I did not like. I didn’t hate this movie. But I was sorely disappointed in it.

First of all, let me say that I do like Michael Keaton. I really like some of his classic films (He will always be the Batman to me), but I also really enjoyed some of his films that everyone hated (Jack Frost anyone?). But he couldn’t save this self absorbed film about the internal workings of show business. This is probably really interesting to the folks in the business as they get what’s going on, but as an outsider, I feel like they just aren’t talking to me, and are not trying to bring me into their private story. This film starts and ends with the shot of a meteor burning across the sky crashing to Earth. Why? Perhaps this is symbolism of Birdman’s (Riggan’s) hopes and dreams and career and life and everything else, but maybe that’s my whole point. If a film is artistic, well shot, the story well told, and you are pulled into the story to where you don’t even remember you’re watching a movie, it’s a rich experience. This film is trying to tell you through every moment of the film that it’s “artful” and you should be proud of yourself for being intelligent enough to recognize that you are seeing a best picture film being crafted. At no time are you not annoyed at Riggan and the clowns he’s working with and the people around him. They have three excellent actresses in this film that are all wasted. They even throw Zach Galifianakis and Edward Norton out the window. Basically this is a long, tedious, extremely boring, pretentious attempt to tell a story to the entertainment business insiders that didn’t include me in the least. I didn’t get the point, and I didn’t even get the story. As to what happens in the end, it’s either a miracle, a segment out of A Beautiful Mind where Riggan is insane, or some kind of artsy symbolic thing that makes sense to Cannes Festival goers. For the everyman out there, I’m disappointed to say, skip this. It is not worth the effort to try to understand it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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    Ed's Review Dot Com » Movie Review – Maps to the Stars (2015) {R} said

    April 19 2015 @ 11:02 am

    […] Hollywood Celebrity yourself, it may not really make a lot of sense. Much like my review of “Birdman (or the unexpected virtue of ignorance)” this feels like you’re an outsider at at insider party and you are not welcome. Perhaps […]

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