Tag Archives: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Birdman (2014) Film Review

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Riggan (Michael Keaton) is an actor who is best known to the world as Birdman, a superhero from a series of films from the early nineties. He has now, many years later, written a play based on work by Raymond Carver, and is directing and starring in it on Broadway. But things are not going smoothly, his lawyer Jake (Zach Galifianakis) is trying to clean up the mess. When one of the other stars, Lesley (Naomi Watts) suggests famous but volatile Mike (Edward Norton), things get even crazier. Then just add in Riggan’s recovering daughter, Sam (Emma Stone), his ex-wife Sylvia (Amy Ryan) and his current squeeze Laura (Andrew Riseborough). Mad.

I loved this film so much. I loved it like I feel like I haven’t loved a film in ages. It is absurd and strange and clever and surreal and magical. Yet… I’ve spoken to friends who hated this film. Who even walked out of the film. Friends who I have a lot in common with, who are smart and we like a lot of the same things. And I think this is what this film will do – completely polarise the audience. The amazing drum soundtrack will, I’m sure, drive people insane, but I loved it so much – it drove the action and the emotion. Go, see it, love it or hate it, but experience a different type of film.

Birdman was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Michael Keaton), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Edward Norton), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Emma Stone), Best Achievement in Directing (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo), Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achieement in Sound Editing. It won Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Michael Keaton) and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo) and was nominated for Best Director (Aejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Stone), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Edward Norton), Best Original Score – Motion Picture. It was also nominated for BAFTAs for Best Film, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), the David Lean Award for Direction (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Screenplay (Original) (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo), Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Original Music and Best Sound.

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Biutiful (2010) Film Review

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Here’s a tip for you. If you turn off Babel because it is too sadtacular to watch a second time, it’s not recommended that you watch another film by the same director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu). That’s exactly what I did, and it was tough work.

Uxbal (Javier Bardem) is a single father living in Barcelona, raising his two children, earning money by arranging work for illegal immigrants and suffering from some serious health problems. His ex-wife is an irresponsible, alcoholic masseuse (who gives some men massages at two in the morning – clearly, that kind of masseuse) who comes back into his life against his better judgment.

Biutiful is the type of film that I sometimes have time for, but sometimes not. It is very much a character study, following the actions of a main character as he deals with his life. I felt little connection with Uxbal. Whilst he clearly was suffering from a debilitating illness, he was short with everyone and there was little in him for me to like or respect. To me, this feels like a film that should be loved by many and nominated for awards, but it just didn’t really work for me.

Biutiful was nominated for Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Javier Bardem).

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_OrqZQV8p8

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Babel (2006) Film Review

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Sadtacular, sadtacular. Oh, so so so sadtacular. Babel is by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who also made Amores Perros and 21 Grams, and I could not bring myself to watch it again. I wanted to; unless I know a film extremely well from multiple viewings, I don’t like to write about them. But I started to watch this and just couldn’t go through it again. Just seeing the two young boys on the hill with the rifle. Oh, no.

Babel tells several stories that overlap during the film. There is the story of the family living in the hills of Morocco who herd sheep and buy a gun to kill the jackals. Then, there is Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) and his wife Susan (Cate Blanchett) who are travelling through Morocco when disaster strikes. Back in the US, their children are being looked after by Amelia (Adriana Barraza), their undocumented nanny from Mexico. She needs to get home to a family wedding, but the children’s aunt does not arrive to take care of the children, so she takes them with her. Finally, there is the Japanese story, which follows deaf teenager Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) who is struggling to fit in and develops a crush on a police office she believes is investigating her mother’s suicide.

Every story is heart-wrenching. Some parts of the stories go exactly the way you’d expect, but then suddenly, they will veer off into sadtacular land. The film is very good. But totally heartbreaking, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch it again.

Babel won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score and was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Adriana Barraza), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Rinko Kikuchi) and Best Writing, Original Screenplay. It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated for many other awards.

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