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BATMAN-Star Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, an ageing actor who used to be a star as the hero of BIRDMAN series. Now, at age 60 he has another go at lasting fame with an adaptation of Raymond Carvers 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love'.


BIRDMAN tells the story of a washed-up actor, whose career and life have both hit rock bottom, in a very unusual and dramatic way. Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, who twenty years earlier was famous for playing the superhero Birdman. And who now, over 60, is trying to make a comeback in order to rid himself of the constraints of the past and create meaningful art. The former blockbuster star hopes to reinvent his career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver‘s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” But nothing is going right — the set is falling apart, his lead has an accident and is replaced with the stage star Mike Shiner who Riggan hopes will guarantee the play’s success. Edward Norton is Shiner and whose character is set up tobe Riggan’s adversary but tehy are dependent on each other for recognition and success. The director amassed a strong supporting cast that includes: Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, Emma Stone, Amy Ryan as well as Zach Galifianakis.
Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, known for 21 GRAMs and BABEL, shot BIRDMAN as though it were one, long single take of 120 minutes, with thought-provoking thematic threads with the brilliant camera work of Emmanuel Lubezki. In subtle ways, such as using invisible visual effects to stitch together various scenes, a few days are narrated in the course of the two hours.
This flow, and with this cast, Iñárritu creates an accessible film rife with humor and irony, which is also a complex reflection on verisimilitude in theatre and film: Whereas on stage for the audience, and night after night, the "truth" must be fabricated, behind the stage intrigues are spun, such as when Mike Shiner drinks real gin on the stage, or when he demands real sex in the name of authenticity. Or even when Riggan Thomson is having conversations with his alter-ego Birdman, or the voice in his head. Iñárritu rehearses the perception of the truth in ironic ruptures of film reality, with tasteless clichees, kitschy dialogue and invented emotional backstories, strikingly exhibited as a parodistic element.

Harald Mühlbeyer

Translation: Carla MacDougall


Original title: Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
USA 2014, 119 min
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Author: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris
DOP: Emmanuel Lubezki
Montage: Stephen Mirrione, Douglas Crise
Music: Antonio Sanchez
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
Cast: Naomi Watts, Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Amy Ryan, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough
FSK: 12
Release: 29.01.2015




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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