BENGALURU: Three films out of the nominees for best picture actually have a shot at winning the award. And they are — Boyhood, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel; and not necessarily in that order.
My bet is however on Birdman. Directed by the incredible Alejandro González Iñárritu, the movie is not just brilliantly conceptualised, but is entirely entertaining. From casting to the final execution, Iñárritu has managed to mount a production that not only sparkles with wit, but makes a rather intelligent statement on the state of the movie and art industry. And there’s also the craft: the stream of consciousness style of shooting that makes you feel like the entire movie was shot in one take, the ridiculous amount of detail that has gone into the maze-like sets, the script that doesn’t falter; all of telling a story of one quest.
The best part is, however, that you don’t need to read the subtext to enjoy this movie. The subtle satire on the thin line that separates high art from low, or audience and critics from the actors, or the front stage and the back, are questions you don’t need to address or think about while watching the movie. There’s enough action happening on the screen, and all of it is original by spades, for one to just watch the movie, and come out of it, thoroughly entertained and satisfied. The cast gives a stunning performance too. Michael Keaton in his role as the actor, once famous for being the superhero Birdman, trying to give his career a final boost by staging a Broadway play, is flawless. The jazz drum score by Antonio Sanchez is also peerless and evocative and lifts the film a few notches.
So if there’s one American movie you need to watch this year, it’s this one.