Not long ago if someone mentioned the film ‘Birdman’ to me I would have shown a great amount of enthusiasm. However perhaps that’s because I hadn’t yet seen it. Prior to viewing the widely publicised picture I had high hopes due to the cast consisting of Ed Norton and Emma Stone, (a couple of my favourite actors.) Unfortunately I was left disappointed.
Despite the star-studded cast the film left much to be desired. It seemed disjointed and awkward and not in a purposeful way. The story itself felt a little dull but also hugely uncomfortable. By the end of it I felt an array of emotions, though none of them positive. As someone who looks out for new and interesting releases, as opposed to the usual generic blockbusters, this film should have excited me more.
Naturally, I can appreciate the uniqueness of the film, the peculiar use of drumming and apparently constant shooting technique but even those aspects couldn’t redeem it. A film merely being “different” just isn’t enough anymore I’m afraid, it needs at least some substance.
After watching other Oscar nominated films, I must say I was a little (a lot) surprised to hear Birdman won best picture. Boyhood, The Theory of Everything or Whiplash would have been much worthier winners. Boyhood being filmed over 12 years and telling such an intimate story, The Theory of Everything portraying the life events of one of the most influential men ever to exist and Whiplash being so severely engaging despite only really featuring two main characters.
I’d have no issue if Birdman won other awards. For example, Alejandro González Iñárritu succeeded as best director for Birdman, which is entirely deserved due to the odd perspective the film was shot in. Nevertheless, it certainly wasn’t worthy of best picture and I personally believe the Academy just wanted to surprise everyone with such a poor choice. The only way I could have been more disappointed would be if The Grand Budapest Hotel had won instead.
Aside from this major disappointment I was pleasantly surprised by the rest of the nominations and awards. It was certainly an interesting year for the Oscars and I look forward to watching the other films mentioned.