Tag: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

The Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

October 16th, 2014 — 9:28pm

****Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.41.10 PM

The Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) -sp

This movie has the ingredients to be a very well received production. Much of it is a powerful Broadway play within a movie . Specifically it is about an aging movie star Riggan who has made blockbuster movies titled The Birdman who doubts his acclaimed accomplishments and feels he has to prove himself by directing and acting in a serious dramatic play on the Broadway stage. Probably, it is not a coincidence that the star of the movie is 63 year old mega movie star Michael Keaton of Batman and Batman Returns fame among many other hits. His costar is Ed Norton who plays Mike a younger accomplished actor who is totally into the moment with his very dramatic acting in the play. There are excellent supporting roles by Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan and Zach Galifianakis. The creation of the film comes from screenwriter and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who is best known for Babel and Biutiful. Thanks to a collaboration between Fox Searchlight Pictures and New Regency he had a 16 ½ million dollar budget. Most of the film takes place inside a Broadway theatre or within the surrounding two or three blocks in the theatre district in New York City. The scenes each last several minutes. These long takes characterize the film and the viewer is given the impression that one camera is following the actors as they move through the winding corridors, dressing rooms, balconies and the stage itself, which would appear to be the well known St James Theatre. Riggan’s inner voice is quite loud and appears external. To further keep things rolling along, the music background score is almost entirely drums. The audience at times is asked to suspend reality but the intense drama keeps us grounded. Despite the high flying antics of Mr. Keaton the most revealing moment in the film would appear to be when the NY Times theatre critic who can make or break any show seems determined to break this one because she doesn’t believe Superhero movies stars have a right to claim the Broadway stage as true actors. While the movie had a dramatic flair and an intensity, which held our attention, we felt we were watching characters tell about their stories and situations rather than identifying with them and fully experiencing their plight. We suspect this will be one of those movies that people will either love or walk away without being moved but it is worth being seen. (2014)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama


February 22nd, 2011 — 3:11am


Biutiful- rm – You will be taken to underside of the streets of Barcelona and get inside people who are scraping by trying to survive and put food on the table for their children. You will meet a man who engages in illegal doings but seems fair and sensitive to his troubled wife, his innocent children and to the immigrants whom he encounters  functioning in the worst possible conditions. You will see him face his own mortality and get a glimpse at what perhaps is Director/Writer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s view of where death will take us. Make no mistake about it, this is a powerful and depressing movie. Inarritu uses the technique of  weaving together various jarring scenes as he did in his 2006 Oscar nominated film Babel. He very effectively uses dim lighting in many scenes with dark blue colors reflecting the mood of the people and times.  Ultimately it is the journey of Uxbal ( Javier Bardem) which will captivate and haunt you. His empathic nature, love of his children, desperate attempt to survive when the odds are against him which make him a tragic but “biutiful” figure. It may also bring Bardem his second Oscar (he won for Best Supporting Actor in No Country for Old Men in 2008) . There are a lot of things going on in this movie which may not be immediately clear in your consciousness since they are subtle and most of us are relying on the subtitles. All the more reason why the emotional impact that you cannot help but feel as the story runs it’s final course confirms that you have seen an outstanding movie. (2010)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, Foreign

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