Michael Keaton put in such an amazing performance for Birdman that even he thought he was going to win an Oscar. The blink-and-miss-it moment of him putting his speech back in his jacket pocket after losing, is an awesomely awkward moment that is keeping with the spirit of this gripping movie. Keaton plays Riggan, an actor who once wowed audiences with his portrayal of the titular Birdman, an impressive superhero who made Riggan’s fortune, but left him typecast for the rest of his career. Desperate for the limelight to shine on him again, he puts together a stage play, in which he has cast himself as the star.
Halfway between a dark comedy and a family drama, Riggan wrestles with his own ego whilst navigating the complicated relationships in his life. Zach Galifianakis reins it in a little as the tense producer, Edward Norton plays a jerk to perfection, and Emma Stone is both relatable and lovable as Riggan’s troubled daughter/ personal assistant.
The film may not have as much action as the trailer may lead you to believe, but it is a fantastic ride that will stay with you long after the credits roll. The highly emotive themes in the movie may have some movie buffs drawing comparisons to other fading stars who desperately try to eke out a little fame in their autumnal years. Perhaps the most obvious parallel would be with Adam West, who much like Riggan, enjoyed a short burst of fame after resigning himself to being typecast, allowing Batman to be his life companion. The fact that Keaton has also donned the cowl really brings home the point.