Birdman

Well, since the kids are both out of town, Isabel at the grandparents and Sam with a friend, Helena and I were due for a date night. Since Birdman won the best picture Oscar and since I am a big fan of Michael Keaton, his portrayal of Beetlejuice was one of the great characters of all time and that movie where he cloned himself had one of the greatest lines of all time, i.e. “She touched my peepee, Steve. I liked it. I liked it a lot,” we decided to go see Birdman, at Lucerna, a classic Prague cinematic experience, with the very elegant cafe where you can hang out until showtime. I had a coffee and Helena had a chlebicek and a coke.

Michael Keaton working  out his issues

Michael Keaton working out his issues


I was a bit disappointed in the film. I can see how critics considered it a great film, there were brilliant performances. Michael Keaton did not disappoint, and Emma Stone as his daughter was brilliant, but Edward Norton, as the other insane actor in the onstage battle of egos, stole the show. There was some excellent dialogue, maybe too much excellent dialogue. The whole thing was so loaded with meaning that it was more of an intellectual experience than a film, right from the first five minutes where he’s staring into his dressing room mirror and there’s a little note stuck in the corner of the frame that says “The thing is what the thing is, and not what we say the thing is,” I may not be remembering that word for word but it was a nice thought, a true statement, and set the tone.
I liked the scene where his daughter tore into him for not having twitter, or facebook, and failing to accept that he was already irrelevant, it spoke to me and the reasons I blog, the film was very much about old men trying to remain young, as in the Edward Norton speech where he said to Sam (the daughter) that he’d like to take out her eyeballs and put them in his own head so he could see New York the way he’d seen it when he was young. I liked Keaton’s argument with the critic in the bar, when they discussed the various merits of films vs. live theater, and what it meant to be an actor vs. being a critic.
Wasn’t terribly impressed with the scene where he was flying, I thought that was kind of stupid.
It didn’t quite make it into the ‘great film’ category. My definition of a great film is one where you’re so wrapped up in the story, you forget you are watching a film and the moment it ends is a surprise because you had forgotten.
That didn’t happen. I give it about a 7 or a 7.5 out of 10, but if this was the best film of the year,then it wasn’t a great year.

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