For the longest time, I have always praised the talent of Michael Keaton. From “Mr. Mom” to “Batman,” he has displayed that his range is spread across the board. 

To this day, he remains my favorite incarnation of Batman. Something about his down-to-earth persona, makes me relate to him all the more.

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

Lately, he’s been used as a supporting actor with no real contribution to the film. Luckily, that is all about to change, as “Birdman” may just be one of the best performances of his career, if not his best.

In his glory days, Riggan Thomson [Michael Keaton] was mainly known for his role as the masked superhero Birdman.

Once he left the franchise, he faded into obscurity. To make up for what’s left of his career, Riggan decides to adapt a Raymond Carver short story for the stage.

If this wasn’t enough, he has the added pressure of his unstable daughter [Emma Stone], an unorthodox actor [Edward Norton] and the voice of Birdman in his head.

All this culminates to Riggan’s inner journey to discover who’s really in charge, himself or Birdman.

As if the hype wasn’t high enough, “Birdman” had to rise above expectations. First off, if a theater is playing this film, don’t wait for the DVD, seek it out immediately.

Come Oscar season, expect this film to go home with a few golden statues.

“Birdman” is one of those films where, no matter how hard I try, can’t find a single flaw. I tried, but nothing stuck out to me as wrong or out-of-place.

Everything seemed to flow quite nicely without any bumps in the road. One contribution can mainly be attributed to the cinematography.

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu managed to do what other directors have only dreamt about.

If you look closely, you’ll see that “Birdman” is meant to look like one continuous shot.

For the most part, the editing is flawless. The actors will go through these long takes with massive amounts of dialogue and not break a sweat.

In order for a film like this to work, there has to be talent involved and my god there is. Michael Keaton needed a film that would bring his name to the forefront again and this is it.

Here, he plays a character that is dealing with problems from all kinds of angles and how he interprets them.

From time to time, he’ll have sporadic outbursts where he lets Birdman get the best of him. With Riggan, you never know what his next move is. When he has to work alongside Edward Norton’s character, it’s understandable to see why he’s losing his mind.

Norton does whatever he wants on-stage and doesn’t care who he’s harming in the process. He even goes on to hit on Riggan’s recently rehabilitated daughter without a forethought.

Emma Stone’s role is to show how strained her relationship with her father is between the two of them. Like Riggan, she too is highly unpredictable.

Now imagine all of this story and character development in a two-hour film that feels like it never stops and you have “Birdman.”

As simple as everything sounds, there are multiple moments throughout where I was enchanted by what was occurring on-screen. There will be times where reality doesn’t seem to exist and yet, it works tremendously.

I urge everybody to rush out to see “Birdman” at the nearest possible convenience. You won’t regret it. With other such releases as “Whiplash,” “Foxcatcher” and “Inherent Vice,” I’m looking forward to the rest of this year.

If “Birdman” turns a profit, it will make me the happiest person on the planet.


Rating: A+


Matt Bilodeau can be contacted at

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