Monday, January 19, 2015

not buster. not diane.

First, full disclosure:  I like Michael Keaton.

Applause and cheers!

But, then, who doesn't like the affable Michael Keaton?

Another revelation:  I could hardly make it through "Birdman," Keaton's celebrated "comeback" movie.  (I put comeback in quotes because, frankly, while his last notable film work was in the mid- to late-1990s, Keaton hasn't exactly been inactive.  Check his IMDb filmography.)  Anyway, that's right.  "Birdman" did nothing for me.  There, I said it.

Boo!  Hiss!

I know, I know.  Blasphemy.  I clearly never received the memo that stated that anyone who is even remotely interested in the future of film is obliged to show enthusiasm for "Birdman."  Period. More disclosure: Along the same contrarian ethos, I could barely tolerate that other 2014 critics' darling, "The Grand Budapest Hotel."  Too twee for me.  (Hey, a rhyme!)

But back to Michael Keaton.  In spite of my aversion to "Birdman" (I still have recurring head pain from Antonio Sanchez's intrusive, clanging drum score), I am heartened that Keaton is receiving belated recognition in his career and appreciate the critics' avidity for his achievement in "Birdman."

What I don't understand is the excitement that goes beyond his performance in this particular film - the enthusiasm about his mere return, as if his absence left some kind of void.  I remember Michael Keaton as a competent, reliable actor with a fairly good filmography.  But the way that some critics are behaving, one would think Gene Hackman deigned to come out of retirement - or that Brando himself has risen from the dead.

Am I missing something?


Bennett said...

Maybe it took his this long to find a role worthy of his talent.

Andrea P. said...

i walked out of the theater wondering what in the hell it was about. Stupid. Haven't met anyone yet who could explain it to me but when I saw he won a Golden Globe for "best comedy or musical" that's when I realized it must have been meant as a joke. Couldn't stand any of the characters although I actually like all of the actors. And the music got on my nerves. Just because it's popular and will win lots of awards doesn't mean anything -- McDonalds sells a lot of hamburgers but that doesn't mean they are good or good for you.

jeff said...

Keaton is very good in "Birdman," but I can think of at least a half dozen other actors who could have pulled off the role. Of course, with Keaton's past tied up in the "Batman" franchise, he brings something autobiographical to the part. That's what is impressing the critics. I think.

Qalice said...

I thought "Birdman" was a gasbag of a movie. And I liked all the acting, too. It's nice to see Michael Keaton carry a movie again. But I will never figure out what people love about it or what on earth they think it's about. One particular nit: who writes multiple scenes of two adults playing Truth or Dare?