Breaking News! Birdman won Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. Wait, that isn’t news at all. Oh well, I’m sure you guys already know how amazing Birdman is. But for the sake of all of you who HAVEN’T seen it I have to say: What the hell is making you not watch it!? It’s out on DVD and it is the kind of picture you can literally watch over and over again. So dive in, enjoy the free flowing camera technique as much I as do, and marvel that is….
00:50: A quote from Raymond Carver. To set the mood but also to befuddle the crowd. Also, I love how the titles are in sync with the drums. You’re gonna hear me praise the score a lot in this by the way.
01:55: Keaton in his underpants never gets old.
05:30: This guy who is about to get replaced/injured….Man he’s a bad actor. Or at least good at being bad I mean.
09:55: Now how does one implant oneself with ‘baby pig semen’?
13:40-16:40: This scene is where I realized Edward Norton was my front runner for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ until I saw J.K. Simmons in Whiplash much later. He practically steals this movie at portions which definitely sets the tension between him and Keaton.
18:02: The tailor’s response to Edward Norton’s casual nudity is hilarious. “What’s happening?…”
25:40-26:50: Who would have thought Zach Galifianakis would be such a great, dramatic actor? Normally he plays a baby man which is par for the course with him.
32:40: The composer Antonio Sanchez, playing himself as a Drummer, makes his first appearance. Seriously I love the score for this film. The jazz influence really works for a plot like this. Very New York and it is catchy as hell.
34:50: David Fierro from The Knick makes a quick appearance. Threw me for a loop the first time I saw this
38:00-41:00: This is the scene where Emma Stone cements her Oscar nomination. I don’t wanna sound controversial but I don’t see why she was nominated outside this scene. She does a very good job as the voice of the people but for the most part she is very low on the totem pole on why I found this to be an amazing film. But I do have a crush on her so I can’t be too mad. Then again her scenes with Edward Norton are just as good. Compared to her competition like Meryl Streep or Patricia Arquette it is tough to top anybody really.
46:22: If you would have told me we would get a random lesbian scene I’d call you crazy. Well…you’re crazy.
49:00: “Exposition with a gun! Exposition with a gun!”-Edward Norton
55:30-58:25: You know how I said earlier that Keaton in his underwear is never not funny? Well neither is Norton in a thong. Hilarious scene from start to finish.
68:30: Well the DVD made sure you know where the actual cut of a scene is. Oops.
69:25: Edward Norton or no I don’t know if this is a win for Emma Stone. Then again they’re suppose to be broken characters so I guess it makes sense. This is where Norton disappears by the way which is a problem for me.
73:00-75:00: Probably the most iconic scene in the film. Amazing how Inarritu/Lubezki was able to coordinate this chaos so well. Then again it is Time Square. You could probably do just about anything and get anything done within reason.
76:55-77:10: Longest static shot I’ve seen a while. Gutsy to do considering what we just witnessed.
77:50-78:40: I’ve been pinpointing scenes for the Oscar nominations and this is no different. Keaton destroys this film but this entire monologue is pretty amazing. Hilarious but he nails how stressed he is. “Tiny little hammer…”
81:30: This feels very unethical on Sandy Duncan’s part. I mean if she doesn’t want to like it then fine. But to print this out even if she liked it is pretty terrible. And no, as an amateur critic I am not defending myself. *darts eyes*
86:00: I find it hard to believe a liquor store like this exists but it somehow does. Probably the best shot in the entire film.
86:40: Second best shot to occur in this sequence.
88:00-90:00: The man who plays the titular Birdman is built like a brick shithouse. Also, second iconic scene happens here. This is such an indictment on the movie industry today. Funny how things escalated quite quickly once this film came out with the Marvel and DC announcements. Even if the message is on point it is sadly missed by everyone in Hollywood right now.
91:40-93:40: My favorite, non Antonio Sanchez part of the score. Fantastic melody for such a trippy sequence. It’s called ‘Symphony No.2 in E. Minor, Op 27 Il Allegro Motto’ by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
102:30: I love how, even in a big crowd shot like this you can clearly see Sandy Duncan in the crowd. Also, he clearly threatens her with that gun before you realize it in the reverse shot.
109:40: Honestly I cannot believe this is Keaton. You talk about Foxcatcher and Steve Carell’s nose and it’s got nothing on this.
109:50: Unfortunately I cannot find the actual picture of it. But believe me when I say you will see a grown man in a costume crap on a toilet.
Final Thoughts: I spent very little time talking about the cinematography and for good reason. Emmanuel Lubezki’s work has been praised to death so much it is hard to think of new things. The concept of making this a “one-take” film with hiding the cuts really make this work. There are no lulls in the story and it really make the actors work hard for their performances. The same really can be said about Michael Keaton’s acting and Inarritu’s directing as a whole. When this film started getting major awards, especially Best Picture, the negative reaction threw me for a loop. I really don’t understand why there is such a hatred for this film with a group of people. Maybe the idea of having a film about a famous, white male in today’s age doesn’t work anymore. But that shouldn’t be a knock because it was up against the likes of Selma who, as I posted earlier, got shafted real hard for awards. If there is one thing though you should take from this movie it is this: Go listen to Antonio Sanchez’s score. It will be the best thirty minutes you’ll spend.