Birdman bears sharp talons heading into the Oscars

Dylan Rupptrecht

Since the release of the 2015 Oscar nominations, many film enthusiasts have shared their thoughts about the hottest movies on the list. Birdman, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, ties The Grand Budapest Hotel for securing the highest tally of nominations with nine apiece the likes of which include best directing, best acting (Michael Keaton for best actor and Edward Norton for best supporting actor) and, above all, best picture.

Birdman has been nominated for multiple Oscars  (AP photo)
Birdman has been nominated for multiple Oscars (AP photo)

And here’s why:

Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a has-been actor hoping to distance himself from the “Birdman” role that made him famous by directing and acting his own adaptation of a historical Broadway play. From the get go, the vicarious tone of the film is set with the assistance of a jazzy, drum-heavy score and a semi-manic conversation Thomson continues to have with his alter-birdman ego. All the while, the instability of character dynamics is interwoven into impressive seamless transitions that gives the appearance that the entire film is shot in one take; imagine taking the exhilarating spontaneity of a squirrel and subdue it inside a menagerie – that’s precisely what Alejandro González Iñárritu has achieved in Birdman.

As impressive as the smooth transitions are, it’s the crafty performances that really make Birdman shine. The sparking chemistry between Emma Stone and Edward Norton, at times, could easily be the premise of a completely different movie; match that with Keaton’s portrayal of psychosis, and what you have is a convoluted sequence of suspense that leaves you guessing up to the final scenes!

Still, with all of the savvy ingenuity that goes into the interface of the movie, Birdman feels hollow at times in terms of gripping emotional content. As impressive as the movie is as a whole, it seems to lack a strong emotional core on which other nominated films build their foundation. Ultimately, no other movie can do what Birdman has done, so it’s most definitely worth watching.