Rapid Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

birdman poster

“Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.”
– Mike Shiner

SYNOPSIS: A washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of his Broadway play. – via IMDB

birdman bang
GRADE 8There was hype around this movie, but it was something I had been waiting for and looking forward to see, then it released and got rave reviews. I had to know now if the cast was worth getting excited over the movie for. Let me tell you, it was. I loved the comedic aspect to Birdman, it was sharp and dark with a dash of quirk, and I liked it for the most part, though it certainly isn’t my favourite film or the next best thing I have seen in ages. Birdman was carried by a great cast. In all honesty, I wanted to see this specifically for Emma Stone and Edward Norton, both whom I absolutely love to watch. It all paid off. Michael Keaton delivers a powerhouse performance and just owned his role. I had a giggle to see Norton play an actor who is so difficult to work with, especially when he has a reputation of being so much like that in real life. Naturally, he was worth the watch every second he was on screen, and the interactions between him and Keaton’s Riggan were just fantastic. Emma Stone really sunk her teeth into the role of pissed off, drugged out, damaged daughter and she managed to rock that role, too. She’s just so good to watch, no matter what. My other half specifically commented on the camera work in this film, so now I will have to make mention of it. He loved the feeling it gave you and the way it made the whole movie look and feel different, and he was right. The incessant drum score worked, too, and it had all the potential to fail but never actually went there. I liked how, watching Birdman, it was aware of being a film but also brought in so many real life aspects (looking specifically here at Keaton’s career and choices and Batman as well as Norton and his reputation of being difficult to work with). It’s like… a film being real being film. I don’t know how to explain it properly, but those who have seen this will understand. Cara gave a wonderful explanation of this if you want to know a little more in her review of the film. I enjoyed Birdman and thought it was well worth looking into, though I can see how some people aren’t going to like it. As much as I liked this, though, I also feel that there is some extreme over-hyping going on over it. It is definitely going to lose out with some viewers who won’t appreciate everything, but overall it’s a nice watch.

31 thoughts on “Rapid Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

  1. I MUST see this. I feel with all the award season hype, I kind of saw the entire film through various clips. I need the full experience. Great review. Your recommendations are always worth making note of.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great! Norton,Emma and Zach are my all time favorites! You are right,the impressive star-cast makes me eager to watch this movie.Emma is my favorite since I watched her in “Spiderman” with Andrew Garfield 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice review, Zoe! 🙂 We totally agree on this one although I think you liked it slightly more because you like the actors a little more than me maybe. Everyone was great, though, but it DID get too much hype…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah at a certain point no film is going to be able to overcome the wave of hype that builds after a lot of people who are in such a position to express their adoration for it (i.e. film critics and such). I felt kind of guilty for shouting my love from the top of a mountain cuz I do think it’s one of the better things I’ve seen in a while but at the same time, I’m to blame too. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and certainly not because it’s overhyped. There’s a lot of exclusivity going on.

    I think at it’s heart ‘Birdman’ is an actor’s/filmmaker’s film, which is why I find it odd that it struck such a chord with me. I write about movies but there’s no way I could ever make one. (Maybe one of those shoddy Amityville knock-offs tehehe!) So it’s interesting you mention the hype machine with this, and I think an 8/10 is a perfectly awesome score to give it. I’m glad you enjoyed it. There was quite a lot going on. A very. . . .different cinematic experience to be sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Tom! There is a lot to like but it certainly isn’t going to be for everyone.

      I think that is why I am shocked it got so popular, it caters for a small niché crowd, yet it received so much hype, and not just the critics!

      LOL! I am sure you could do infinitely better than an Amityville knockoff!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah yes I remember seeing something pop up in my notifications seeing you’d linked to my review of this! Thank you so very much, lady! You are too sweet! But, more importantly, yaaaayyyyy Birdman!!! Thrilled to see you enjoyed this one. It’s definitely a unique film-watching experience, and maybe a little too out there for some, but I really enjoyed this. Though I know Redmayne totally earned his Oscar (even though I still haven’t seen The Theory of Everything), a large part of me still wishes Keaton had snagged it…Oh well. Excellent work here, Miss Zoe!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, loved your review and had to link it back. It was good, definitely a totally different experience from what I was expecting, but a good one. Until you see Redmayne, you will feel that way. I don’t know, even saw American Sniper over the weekend and now I have seen all the nominees and their films, and still… Redmayne all the way! xD That being said, Keaton was excellent here.

      Liked by 1 person

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