The late-midlife crisis of a fading Hollywood star is the basis of this surprisingly profound and extraordinarily kinetic satire about life and success in the age of social media. Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, an actor who found fame in the 1990s with a trilogy of superhero films based around the title character. When the film starts, Thomson is about to debut his first play as writer, producer, director and star, a piece adapted from Raymond Carver’s short stories. But as woes pile on in the lead-up to opening night (money is tight, publicity is non-existent, a key player gets KO’d) Thomson begins to hear the persuasive voice of his one-time alter ego. The Birdman conceit is a good excuse for some great effects, but where Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu really excels is in delivering an excellent drama about a man on the edge. Perhaps his best decision was to cast Keaton (Hollywood’s pre-Christian Bale Batman), who is outstanding as the lead, and Edward Norton, superb as his nemesis, the method actor from hell.
Stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Lindsay Duncan, Merritt Wever
Director Alejandro González Iñárritu
Running time 116 min
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Date of event:8th October 2015