[Warning: The above trailer contains NSFW language.]
The U.S. trailer for Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu’s upcoming film starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor once famous for playing a superhero – definitely put the showbiz dramedy/satire on the map for a number of movie geeks. Today, we have an international trailer for the film that contains far more footage than the U.S. teaser, yet in many ways proves to be just as enigmatic and strangely mesmerizing in action.
This international preview for Birdman also nicely highlights the film’s dark sense of humor, illustrating how protagonist Riggan Thomson (Keaton) struggles to mount a Broadway play – encountering obstacle from both outside and within (see: his over-inflated ego and neurosis).
In general Birdman appears to have a fairly acerbic wit to it; to be fair, though, that trait is commonly found in films that examine the realities of being a professional actor. However, the presence of former Batman actor Keaton gives the film a meta quality, so as to better distinguish it from previous deconstructions of the (unstable) Hollywood actor mentality. Likewise, the current popularity of the superhero genre allows Birdman to be all the more relevant as social commentary – and allows it to land its punches with greater precision (see: the joke about Keaton’s character refusing to do Birdman 4).
Iñárritu co-wrote the Birdman screenplay with his Biutiful script collaborators Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone, as well as relative newcomer Alexander Dinelaris. There’s a healthy amount of sharp writing and dialogue on display in the latest theatrical preview, while the themes and psychological nature of the narrative seem quite interesting, as portrayed here. Similarly, Birdman continues to impress on a technical level, with fine cinematography by Oscar-winner Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity) – and the use of the song “Don’t Let Me Be Understood” is as effective here as the rendition of “Crazy” is in the film’s U.S. trailer.
Keaton has been in top form in the Birdman footage unveiled thus far, and the film also looks to boast a moving performance by Emma Stone as Keaton’s frustrated daughter in the film. Meanwhile, Edward Norton seems to be having a blast playing Keaton’s pompous costar in the play that he’s putting on – and is that a refreshingly down-to-Earth turn from Zach Galifianakis we see?
Lastly, the Birdman supporting cast is likewise strong – Naomi Watts (The Impossible), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion), and Amy Ryan (The Office) among its ranks – and provides all the more evidence that this movie will be one to watch for, come awards season.
Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance opens in U.S. theaters on October 17th, 2014.