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First Birdman reviews talk Oscar buzz and Michael Keaton's great comeback

08.27.2014

One of the most anticipated movies of the year for a lot of people has to be Alejandro Iñárritu’s BIRDMAN. The first reviews for the movie have come out of the Venice Film Festival and they're absolutely glowing about almost every aspect of this film. It’s getting very high marks for the cast especially Michael Keaton, the screenwriting (also by Iñárritu), and the gorgeous cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki (GRAVITY, THE TREE OF LIFE) making this movie a potential awards contender.

The synopsis if you’re just catching up:

An actor (Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself. He must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts the Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.

Below is a round-up of some reviews for BIRDMAN from around the net highlighting Keaton’s lead performance and Iñárritu’s seemingly one-take style, which you cna read about that here.

Todd McCarthy of THR:

The film’s exhilarating originality, black comedy and tone that is at once empathetic and acidic will surely strike a strong chord with audiences looking for something fresh that will take them somewhere they haven’t been before.

McCarthy also talked about Keaton’s work in the lead role:

Keaton soars perhaps higher than ever as a thespian with something to prove when not wearing a funny suit. Casting any sense of vanity out the window — every vestige of aging skin and thinning hair is revealed by the camera — the actor catches Riggan’s ambition and discouragement and everything in between.

Peter Debruge of Variety calling BIRDMAN Iñárritu’s best film yet:

In a year overloaded with self-aware showbiz satires, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s fifth and best feature provides the delirious coup de grace — a triumph on every creative level, from casting to execution, that will electrify the industry, captivate arthouse and megaplex crowds alike, send awards pundits into orbit and give fresh wings to Keaton’s career.

HitFix’s Catherine Bray predicts a significant award season presence:

It’s inconceivable that Lubezki’s cinematography won’t be nominated. Equally, Keaton brings a likable comeback narrative to the table, and much more importantly, a brilliant performance – count on at least a nomination for him. A second Best Director nomination for Iñárritu is a strong possibility, as are Screenplay and Editing nods (the genius of the editing here being its invisibility), and while Birdman might not take home Best Picture, I’d be genuinely shocked if it wasn’t nominated.

Empire‘s Damon Wise writes about Iñárritu’s “restless camera”:

What the film ultimately talks about, however, is more rich and profound that Iñárritu’s earlier works, dealing with issues of art, artistry and why we create. That Iñárritu has done so with a multi-layered script is a thing of wonder in itself, but the perfect physical precision with which he has done so – his restless camera takes us into every peeling nook and cranny of the theatre, until its dank corridors become as familiar as home – is a miracle. The ending will baffle or delight, but like the rest of the film it is uncompromising, a true throwback to the ’70s – Alan Arkin’s Little Murders springs to mind – a time when surrealism and abstraction weren’t alien terms and people watched Batman for laughs.

More than ever now I know that I have to check this one out; I'm a life-long fan of Keaton's and it's fantastic to see him back in the spotlight again. This movie had me the moment I heard about it, and after the latest trailer, I knew it was going to be something that gets a lot of people talking.

What are some of your favorite Michael Keaton movies? (My top 3: BATMAN, MY LIFE, BEETLEJUICE)

Extra Tidbit: GAME 6 is a highly underrated Keaton movie.
Source: THRVariety

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