'Birdman' Is The Best Movie Of The New York Film Festival, And It May Be The Best Of The Year

October 13, 2014 1:11 PM

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'Birdman' Is The Best Movie Of The New York Film Festival, And It May Be The Best Of The Year

Whitney: We've reached the end of the New York Film Festival and I think it's fair to say we've finally found its gem. Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" is easily the best film of the fest, if not (I'm about to say it) the best film of the year. Being a fan of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki's work as well as Iñárritu's, my expectations were fairly high for "Birdman," and they were exceeded in every way. This film tells a story of a former Hollywood star attempting to revitalize his reputation by inserting himself into the Broadway world. Michael Keaton's Riggan Thompson wrestles with his former superhero alter-ego -- literally, as the voice and visions of Birdman constantly taunt him -- while trying to prove he's a true artist, not only to the world, but to himself. The most fascinating and enjoyable aspect of the film is how it plays with concept of artist versus critic, quite literally with a feud between Riggan and a fictionalized version of a pontifical New York Times theater critic. The writings of Roland Barthes are tossed around in a hilarious exchange between a high-brow journalist, a gossip reporter and Riggan, a Susan Sontag quote sits on his dressing room mirror and the biggest and harshest critic in the realm of art is represented by Riggan himself.

In the press conference following the film, much of the cast said that Riggan is a representation of Iñárritu. The writer-director shared that much of the film reflects his own struggle with criticizing his own work and his fear of failure. While the subjects of art and criticism, film versus theate...

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