Genre Grandeur – Birdman (2014) – Movie Review 101

intro_clip_image004For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Latin Directors, here’s a review of Birdman by Darren of Movie Reviews 101

Thanks again to Anna of Film Grimoire for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by James of Back to the Viewer.  We will be reviewing our favorite movies featuring a dystopian world (past or future). Please get me your submissions by 25th April by sending them to  Try to think out of the box! Great choice James!

Let’s see what Darren thought of this movie.




Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Writer: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, Edward Norton


Plot: A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Something Special But Not Sure What


Story: Birdman starts by introducing us to Riggan (Keaton) levitating talking about how he believes we are meant for more. Riggan is part of a performance starting on Broadway, he goes through rehearsals with his stars. After things don’t go to well he demands Jake (Galifianakis) his attorney to find a better actor. Riggan was a big star where he starred as Birdman a superhero of his time. When the play gets its preview incoming actor Mike (Norton) joins the cast and already knows the lines but tries to change the play to make it feel smoother. When the preview is a complete disaster because of Mike but Riggan has to learn to deal with Mike to make the play work and actually make money. Riggan has his daughter Sam (Stone) working as his assistant while she tries to recover from her personal problems.

Riggan has everything riding on the play and is still trying to shake the Birdman name he has been branded with after his role. He struggles with his relationship with his daughter, while he also struggles to embrace the future but still having certain abilities. The first show goes well even if Mike tries to do a certain scene his own way, but when the play fails to get the recognition he believes it deserves the headlines go to Mike. This starts to show the try potential breakdown of Riggan and the Birdman voice that talks to him in his mind.

Birdman enters into a world where it tries to turn any opinion we have on it back against us, it flat out tells us what we want to think or what we think we think on the subjects tackled during the film. It does also show how different stars on Broadway act, as well as tackling emotion relationships between the characters. People are all talking about how great the film is and I think one of the main reasons is that a lot is left for you as the audience to make up your own mind on what is real and what is fake. This will end up winning a lot of awards but it really didn’t do it for me on that level. (9/10)


Actor Review


Michael Keaton: Riggan star, director of the play on Broadway, he wants to make this work so he can shake of the reputation from his superhero films Birdman. He is struggling with his relationship with his daughter and to make the play work as he once imagined. Michael gives a performance of his career and could easily pick up an Oscar this year. (10/10)


Emma Stone: Sam daughter of Riggan who has a drug problem and working with her father gives her a chance to clean up but only when she gets the attention. Emma gives a good performance and continues to show she is a good choice in the business. (8/10)


Zach Galifianakis: Jake attorney who keeps everything together for Riggan helping him make the correct decisions for himself and the play. Zach does a good job in the supporting role and proves he isn’t just the bumbling fool we have seen in the Hangover films. (8/10)


Edward Norton: Mike the flamboyant actor who joins the play, but his methods cause problems on the stage for everything. Edward gives a great performance showing how hard an actor could be to work with. (9/10)


Naomi Watts: Lesley the leading lady of the play who brings Mike into the play and dreams of making it big in the business. Naomi gives a good supporting performance. (7/10)


Andrea Riseborough: Laura star of the play and new romantic interest of Riggan who might be ready to change his life before he is ready. Andrea gives a good supporting performance. (7/10)


Support Cast: Birdman still has a large supporting cast of people working on the play long with the fans and one critic who Riggan wants approval from. They all help the story unfold.


Director Review: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Alejandro does a great job directing this making it bounce between genres and look at reality of life very well throughout. (9/10)


Comedy: Birdman struggled to make me laugh, but did have some funny moments. (5/10)

Drama: Birdman uses the personal problems to show how serious things can get giving the film a real drama feel. (10/10)

Settings: Birdman each setting is following a character around without jumping around the theatre, which works very well giving the feel a real smooth idea. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Birdman special effects are only used in one moment of the film and they almost are used to say we could have but chose not to. (10/10)

Suggestion: Birdman is getting all the talk and it should be watch even if it isn’t you favourite idea for a film. (Watch)


Best Part: Keaton Performance.

Worst Part: Could come off confusing.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for 7 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.

Oscar Chances: Could clean up at the Oscars.

Box Office: $30 Million to date.

Budget: $22 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Trivia: This film is edited to look like one continuous shot.


Overall: Strong Contender for Oscars

Rating 92

5 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Birdman (2014) – Movie Review 101

  1. I’d have to disagree completely with the 0/10 for it being a believable film. It’s not maybe believable for anyone not in the industry itself but for those who are plugged in this must strike very close to home. The struggle to remain in the business, to remain relevant, is something I would think many actors/actresses, directors even producers and writers would feel is true.


  2. I haven’t seen Birdman but I’m aware that a lot of people love it. From your review it sounds like it’s self-righteous without being convincing, and self-important without being substantial.
    Like the rest of this year’s nominated films I’ll probably be giving it a miss.


  3. Pingback: Genre Grandeur March Finale – La Cravate (1957) – Film Grimoire |

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