Michael Keaton reprises the movie screen after a long period of time and performs an Oscar-worthy role in the movie ‘Birdman’.
Michael Keaton has had his share of amazing movies such as Batman, Beetlejuice, Jack Frost and Mr. Mom. His performances, whether it was the charismatic Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jack Butler and Beetlejuice have been exceptional and convincing. Even President Obama loves Beetlejuice and that was the question he asked Keaton when they met in 2012 to discuss environmental issues. The question we have all been asking this amazing actor for years. Where has he been? Why did he stop working in movies?
He has acted in several movies in leading roles such as First Daughter starring James Blucas and Katie Holmes and Herbie: Fully Loaded as Lindsay Lohan’s dad. We also got to see him in indie movies such as Game 6 and The Merry Gentlemen. He also acted in HBO movie Clear History. So, it would be unfair to say he had stopped working but none of these roles have been as great as Batman or Beetlejuice.
The actor replied to Esquire regarding his career choices and he said that he was done with playing characters that people would start defining him with. He said that the spotlight he had received was enough to last him a lifetime and he did not want to be lost in the haze of phony and materialistic projection of the world which is typical of Hollywood.
He has been living of in Oklahoma where he is spending his life in peace and wants to remain undisturbed and uninterrupted by his former fame. Keaton wants to distance himself from the roles he has played and perhaps that is what he thought when he signed up for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.
Birdman, according to some is a referral to his role in Batman because Keaton’s character Riggan Thomson is a washed up actor who used to play a feathered hero. Keaton reassures audience that it is not a reference to his Batman role but it certainly bears inspiration as a personal experience for the character.
Riggan writes and acts in an adaption of Raymond Carver story which he wants to perform on Broadway in New York. We see Riggan in the opening scene, levitating in his room. Birdman’s voice is talking to him in his head.
This happens all through the movie. He hears Birdman’s voice and the audience are made to wander if he is schizophrenic or is it just a way of coping and motivating himself. Most of the film has been shot in St. James’ Theatre where Riggan is seen struggling to overcome the materialistic world while trying to muster a performance that return him his fame.
The role is the antitheism of what Keaton really believes about himself and his career. Where Riggan is trying to be a part of that world again desperately, Michael wants to stay away form that world.
The clash between the wishes of the character and actor playing the character present a clash which is helpful in the representation of the struggle Riggan is going through and that highlights the supremacy of Keaton’s acting as Riggan Thompson.
The movie is a transition between real and camera life. The contemporary magic of Alejandro is responsible for making the movie elaborate, bold and incredible. Keaton is accompanied by Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis and Naomi Watts but the most complementary performance has been Edward Norton’s.
According to critics, this is Norton’s best performance to date. According to Alejandro, Keaton and Norton bonded behind the scenes and both of their performances were bold, unapologetic and in your face.
The movie opens in a few days in theaters but the critics have already acclaimed and there is already some rumors about the movie going for Oscars in 2015 and Keaton might receive a nomination as well. If he does, we hope he wins.
Watch official trailer of Birdman below.