As the fall season gets underway, I'm starting to finally get a look at some of the movies I've been most excited about, including “Birdman,” which I get to see tomorrow. I couldn't be more excited about the movie based on what I've heard, and I'm doing my best not to watch clips or to learn too much. I want to see it all in context.
Well… almost all. They did send me some new images from the film today that I'm going to share, featuring the cast and, in one shot, the director. Is it weird that one of the things that makes me happiest about the mere existence of this film is that Michael Keaton is front and center again?
In general, Michael Keaton's career has been the source of confusion for me for a while now. Keaton is the quintessential '80s leading man, the cloth from which Tom Hanks was cut, the model that everyone imitated, and he has been missing from starring roles for too long. When he showed up in the same small role in both “Jackie Brown” and “Out Of Sight,” it felt like everyone I spoke to about it was excited the same way. They were thrilled to see him. They said they wanted to see more of him. They were confused why we haven't seen him more often lately.
While “Birdman” is an original, written by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo, it feels like there are parallels between the character Keaton's playing, named Riggan Thomson, and his own professional persona. While it seems like an easy thing to imagine that as an actor you'd want to be playing the biggest roles possible, making the choice to become Batman is a big one, and it becomes a defining moment, no matter what else you do in your career. I would imagine there are things about the role that would haunt you no matter what, no matter how much you appreciated it, and while I normally am not a fan of movies about the people who make movies, I think there's some real dramatic heft to the concept.
Anyway, enjoy the photos, and I can't wait to both see and review the movie.
“Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)” begins as a limited release on October 17th, then starts rolling out wider at the end of the month.