‘Birdman’ nails it

Great pacing, an endearing cast and brilliant writing left me fixated for the entire 119-minute run.

The movie is about former action hero Riggan Thomson, played by Michael Keaton, who at the end of his career puts on a play adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” as director, writer and headliner.

Spending the last of his fortune on a last grasp at fame, Thomson is stretched to his mental and physical limits.

With his drug-addicted daughter played by Emma Stone, a neurotic assistant played by Zach Galifianakis and unstable co-star, played by Edward Norton, Thomson struggles to prepare for opening night for his play.

The border between reality and fantasy is blurred as Thomson demonstrates powerful psychokinetic abilities, and the movie doesn’t reveal whether he’s imaging them or not.

He also hears a voice in his head that speaks in a gravelly tone, criticizing his attempts to produce something of artistic value.

The voice, which belongs to Thomson’s own Birdman character from his action hero past, mocks the production considering the play as beneath a movie star.

“Birdman” was the most excellent film I’ve seen this year. Most notable, however, is the camerawork and cinematography.

Shots stretch for much of the scene combined with seamless editing place the audience behind the actors through the maze-like Broadway theater, as if they were actually there.

“Birdman” has gained recognition and has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.