I’d been looking forward to this movie for a year or so when I finally got around to seeing it and it didn’t disappoint. Its tale of an aging, world-weary actor searching for personal redemption, battling creative short-comings and losing his grip on reality is a real masterpiece. The script is smart, witty and sincere in all the right ways; it manages to be both a philosophical treatise on art and a gripping story drenched in real human emotions. And Inarritu’s direction is breathtaking, almost the entire film being edited into one long continuous take. Inarritu’s eye takes us through the bowels of the theater where most of the action takes place until we feel that we know it as well as the characters. And speaking of those characters, what a load of performances. Keaton’s performance is his best, a desperate, vulnerable performance that anchors the film. Emma Stone transcends “likable, charismatic presence” at last to give a genuinely great performance, her first by my lights, and I hope this signals a new phase of her career. Edward Norton is better than he’s been in a decade or more I’d say as brilliant, but difficult actor Mike Shiner. The film is full of moments that have remained fixed in my memory ever since I saw the film, moments both fantastic and real. This is a wonderful, brilliant masterpiece. A worthy Best Picture winner. A real must see. 4 stars.
tl;dr – boasting a host of brilliant performances, a smart and evocative script and eye-poppingly beautiful direction, Birdman is nothing short of a genuine classic. 4 stars.