**THZ Exclusive: Birdman Review

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight.

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight.

Birdman is one of the best films of the year. If it wasn’t a dark comedy, it could easily compete with Gone Girl for Best Movie at next year’s Oscars.

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s, Birdman, is a must see. The story is about a washed-up actor Riggan Thomson (played by Michael Keaton), who became famous for playing a superhero named Birdman in the movies. Thomson decides to stage a comeback in an adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Pressure mounts as he struggles with his ego and his family life, along with the pressure of giving an unforgettable performance at the play’s opening night.

Keaton gives an unforgettable performance as both Thomson and Birdman. From running around in his underwear around the St. James Theater and Times Square to the epic final scene, there is no doubt that Keaton should get serious consideration from the Academy. To me, this has been Keaton’s best role since Batman.

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight.

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight.

Keaton had a tremendous supporting cast. Edward Norton (who ironically played the role of Hulk in 2003), played Mike Shiner, an arrogant, talented, successful, and self-absorbed stage actor, whose ego clashes with Riggan’s bruised ego. He’s also the lover to Lesley (played by Naomi Watts, who looked ripped in the movie.) It was a role that Norton was born to play as his smug face was perfect for his character. Everytime you see him in a scene, you will cringe.

The most surprising part of the movie was the acting of Zack Galifianakis. He played the role of Jake, the play’s producer and Riggan’s best friend/producer/lawyer.Galifianakis isn’t known for playing serious roles but delivers a great performance as the funny best friend/lawyer. If given the chance, Galifianakis could branch out of comedy and move on to more serious roles.

Emma Stone (played Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spiderman, are you seeing a trend here?) played Sam Thomson. She is the resentful and vulnerable daughter/personal assistant of Riggan who recently came out of drug rehab. She was tremendous in the film and her rooftop scenes with Norton was one of the best scenes in the movie.

The cinematography of this film steals the show. Emmanuel Lubezki (did the cinematography of Gravity) does it again in Birdman. When I saw the movie, I felt like I was watching the film in one long extended shot. It was very unique way of shooting a movie.

Birdman is a must see. Don’t let the movie name fool you: It is NOT a superhero movie. It’s the anti-superhero movie. From the top-notch acting to the pop culture jokes (Jeremy Renner, Justin Bieber and Meg Ryan to name a few) it is indeed a must see.

Movie Rating: 10 out of 10

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