Birdman: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance


Zak Parchen, Staff Reporter

Andy Warhol once stated, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Birdman tells the story of a washed-up superhero actor, Riggan Thompson (played by Michael Keaton), who attempts to regain his lost fame through a Broadway theater production.  He is trying to prove to the world that he is more than an expendable blockbuster star, but is able to create a true artistic masterpiece, his play, which conveys somber, real-life themes rather than explosions and nonstop action–something which he has become accustomed to.  In the process of creating his masterpiece, he pays the price of neglecting his drug-addicted daughter, along with constantly being interrupted by frequent mishaps and is haunted by the hallucination of his past self.

The movie has received 133 awards, nine Oscar award nominations, including that of best picture, and has been well-received by critics.  The acting by Michael Keaton, playing the lead role of Riggan Thompson, and Edward Norton, who plays the role of a pesky actor causing problems for the production, had outstanding and very believable performances, earning them nominations for best actor and best supporting actor.

Birdman stands out among the bulk of films recently released with such an original plot, showing the fall of an actor and how he tries to mature.  The story may be a reflection upon Michael Keaton’s actual life, since his life is so similar to the history of the character he plays.  This film conveys a wide range of emotions, with much dark humor making you burst into laughter, pure frustration caused by the sheer ignorance of Riggan Thompson, and scenes that allow you to feel all the pain that Riggan faces through his journey.  Birdman is certainly worth watching and is likely the best film released in 2014.