Remember the remarkable theatre experience and awe of last year’s tour de force Gravity? Scenes of the film, were actually filmed in space! The film without the vast open wonder of the universe would just be two hours of a panicked Sandra Bullock. Its film experiences like Gravity that leave viewers listless for months hungering for a cinematic experience to top it, but after being disappointed repeatedly forget that feeling.


If you are one of those true film lovers, Birdman is one hell of a wild ride you don’t want to miss. With the oversaturation of super hero films, this film reads more like an anti-super hero flick. Michael Keaton, plays Riggan the hero who has invested everything he has into a Broadway theatre production in the hopes of being taken seriously as an actor. Riggan’s career has been overshadowed by the superhero character of Birdman, and haunted by the character that has burrowed itself into his head talking to him. Is this Birdman alter ego a good influence or the devil on his back the viewer questions throughout the film. Keaton slays this role as if it were written for him, a man we’d never have expected to see anywhere near a cape again.

Though it is not Keaton alone that carries the film, this is an ensemble film with notable performances from Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts. What makes the casting particularly interesting is that Emma Stone, Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Naomi Watts have all been in big super hero films based off of comic books.


As the film progresses and problems with the play’s production multiply, the story begins to spin out of control. Fact and fantasy become entwined and the viewer begins to sweat. Take heed: don’t order the large drink, during the last half of the film there isn’t a minute to be missed. So engrossing is the film that not only is it a must see, obvious Oscar darling but it is so good that millennial savvy enough to torrent the film illegally online will be doing themselves such a tremendous disservice that they will likely see it in the theatre anyway. This is a film to be seen on the be screen with surround sound.

Really this film has just about everything. Explosions: check. Strong female leads: check. Nudity: check. Shocking ending: check. Original plot: check. NYC at its worst: check. Awkward romance: check. Happy ending: you’ll just have to decide yourself. 

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is released in cinemas January 1. Check out the trailer below.

By Riley Arthur

Riley Arthur is an American photographer and journalist living in Preston.