Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) saw a limited theatrical release back in November 2014, but now you can catch it on the big screen once again as the film is experiencing a special re-release having received 9 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), and Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu). Actors Michael Keaton and Edward Norton both deliver excellent performances, but Emma Stone really deserves a lot of credit for this one; her performance as Keaton’s attention-depraved daughter recovering from time in rehab is easily her best yet, and she definitely makes the jump from pretty-face roles to serious and talented actress, much like Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in American Hustle last year. Director Inarritu’s stylistic approach to the storytelling is also incredibly unique. Rather than cutting from scene to scene to show story progression and time-lapse, he transitions one scene to the next by having characters walk into the current scene or camera view, and then follow that new character into the next scene using the same single camera view, giving the film a sort of real-time flow while covering the course of several days. Birdman has also earned Inarritu and co-writers Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo an Academy Award-nomination for Best Screenplay and Emmanuel Lubezki a nomination for Best Cinematographer. So if you get a chance try to see this one before it leaves theaters again. It’s definitely worth your time.
Although most of us won’t have the opportunity to see this one unless we’re in New York City or Los Angeles, it is still a project worth bringing to your attention. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, Biutiful) released a new film at this year’s Venice Film Festival titled Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. The film features an all star cast lead by Michael Keaton and also featuring Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts. The story follows an actor who, at the height of his career, portrayed an iconic superhero (Birdman) and now must overcome his eccentric ego in order to reclaim his seat in the spotlight by taking a role in a Broadway play. Inarritu directed the film from a screenplay written by himself and screenwriters Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo. Birdman has already seen several additional releases in the United States, including the Telluride Film Festival in August and the New York Film Festival, Hamptons International, and Philadelphia International Film Festivals earlier this month. Chicagoans will get a chance to see it on the 18th as part of the Chicago International Film Festival, but a nationwide theatrical release has not yet been announced. Stay tuned for more information.