Many are calling this a comeback for Michael Keaton. As much as I’ve always wished there was more of him, would it be the same if he was always around? He just seems to pop up with parts he gives a toss about. That I can respect him for. When he does appear it’s generally worth taking notice.
That it appears this role was pretty much written for him is the icing on the cake for his latest appearance.
The story, focusing on an ageing actor best known for playing a Superhero, works on many levels.
Visually it gives the illusion of being one long take, which is both novel and technically impressive. It also shows balls.
The sound is sparse but fits well, even occasionally showing us the source of the percussion.
Then there are the performances. Put aside the real life similarities and Keaton is still amazing. He stands out alongside Norton and Stone in a world full of damaged people and their egos. Some are crippled by it whilst others feed off it. I must mention Galifianakis too; it’s good to see him in a different kind of role.
As the story progresses it becomes less clear what is real and what isn’t, and it’s at this point that it started to unravel. When it was dealing with egos and characters, Birdman is a really funny film. It’s a subtle humour with a dark tinge. That shifts into a real look at our lead, and though he can’t be faulted I much preferred watching him bounce off the rest of the cast.
Birdman won’t be to everyone’s tastes. It’s an offbeat film that has the courage to do something different. It also takes the piss out of the current Superhero climate, with everyone putting on a cape. But with a cast this good and a hero of mine shining it deserves to soar.