Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014): “I’m trying to do something important.”

1422154402307The winner of the Best Picture Oscar for 2014, Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014, dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu) is a satirical drama about creative obsession, the quest for relevance, decaying and reviving relationships, and personal rebirth. Its synopsis is as follows:

A washed up actor tries to reclaim his fame on Broadway with a new play. As this is happening he has to handle new actors, and has to re-kindle his relationship with his daughter. But most importantly he has to escape the shadow of the superhero he used to play: Birdman. (source)

Birdman is a visually fantastic masterpiece. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is nothing short of perfection. Lubezki also photographed Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011) and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), both films which are highly acclaimed for their visual style. The direction by Iñárritu is also amazing. Iñárritu‘s masterful illusion of a single take throughout the film ensures that the audience is continually kept on their toes, and is also a strange perceptual experience in terms of our awareness of time and space. Both Lubezki and Iñárritu earned Oscars for their cinematography and direction respectively. I only very recently saw this, so my mind is still spinning with regards to how to form a comprehensive review. I’m not sure I can currently put into words how much I genuinely loved this film, so in lieu of words, I will present you pictures. These still images do the film absolutely no justice, however. This is another film that I truly regret missing seeing on the big screen.

As always, the following images are mixed up in order to avoid plot spoilers, but there are a couple of minor spoilers throughout.






























Watch the trailer here.


  1. I’m not sure if I love this film, but you’re right about it being visually stunning. I love the moments you picked out for the pictures. I hadn’t really thought of the movie that way before but it’s style is very strong. Cheers!

    1. Thanks heaps Mel! I’m always a bit of a nerd about cinematography and visuals, and this one was such a treat for the eyes. I’ll write more about this when it settles in my brain!

  2. Ohh, all those images just reminded me of how much I love this film. It’s been months since I saw it and I still can’t form my feelings into words!
    – Allie

    1. That doesn’t bode well for me! 😀 I’m hoping to write properly about this once I figure it all out. I think I’ll need to re-watch it before I can write about it!

  3. I also love this movie. And you are absolutely correct about it being a visual masterpiece. The performances also blew me away. I thought Norton was especially strong.

    1. Norton was amazing, I always love him! Emma Stone was so great as well.

  4. I liked it a lot though I didn’t love it. Visually it really is stunning. Wonderful choices to prove this.

    1. Thanks heaps Alex! 😀 I can’t wait to re-watch it.

  5. When Emma Stone looks out the Window at the end is one of my favorite shots. Glad you liked the movie, and Im sorry you missed it in theaters

    1. I loved that shot too, such an intriguing way to end the film, it made me ask so many questions! I’m hoping this gets another run at our outdoor or rooftop cinemas in the city, I’d definitely go to see it on the big screen since I really did miss out.

  6. I love love this one and yup, you just inspired a rewatch!

  7. I thought this film had a lot going for it. Although it wasn’t a personal favorite, it is obvious that it is a masterpiece.

    1. It is a bit of a masterpiece for sure!

  8. Well that was a different kind of review! 😛 I really enjoyed this one too, both aesthetically and creatively too. 🙂

    1. I’ll write a review with more words and filmic analysis once my brain figures this crazy film out! 😀

  9. A great movie. Boyhood was better, but it was a very close race. Nice review.

    1. Thanks heaps Dan. I really loved Boyhood as well, but there’s something about this one that just feels so magically mindblowing. A really close race!

  10. Fantastic movie. Still cannot believe it won – it’s almost too smart of a movie for Academy

    1. I would tend to agree with that! 😀 It doesn’t feel like a mainstream Oscar-type film!

  11. Love this film too. I know it won the Oscar, but I felt it was treated a tad harshly by some who wanted Boyhood to win (I certainly wanted Boyhood to win). Amazing technical feat, stunningly performed.


    1. Oh yeah, the pressure for Boyhood to win was so strong. But not strong enough to squash this amazing piece of work!

  12. […] things to look forward to next month that I can’t wait to announce! Also, I finally saw Birdman (2014). Meanwhile, here are some fun posts I collected during the month of September and wanted to […]

  13. I liked the way this movie looked, a lot, but overall I was not a HUGE fan of the movie itself, though I didn’t hate it by a long shot. Great post lady!

    1. Thanks! I think I might give this one a re-watch at some point since I’m sure some aspects of it went over my head.

  14. […] Emmanuel Luzbecki also worked on Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), another visual accomplishment. I will probably have to do a cinematography post on this […]

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