Birdman, the latest film from Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Babel), is a hugely inventive black comedy that tells the story of actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), famous for once portraying an iconic superhero, as he struggles to mount a Broadway play.
When one of the actors is injured in rehearsals, the lead actress (Naomi Watts) brings in her lover, Mike (Edward Norton), an egotistical ‘method’ actor whose actions threaten to disrupt an already unstable production.
Superbly directed by Iñárritu, the film’s structure is based on several long takes that are seamlessly edited to give the appearance of one continuous shot, spanning several days. Shot by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, The Tree of Life), the camera twists and turns around the maze-like corridors of the Broadway theatre at whirlwind pace, all the time propelled by Antonio Sanchez’s original drum score. The effect is spellbinding and drives the narrative wonderfully from scene to scene, as Riggan battles with his own ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.
Endlessly creative, often hilarious and featuring a career-best performance from Keaton, Birdman is a unique satire and a feast for both the eyes and the mind.