Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s newest film, Birdman, is set to close out the New York Film Festival (NYFF), according to an exclusive story from The Hollywood Reporter. The decision by the NYFF only adds to the increasing buzz for the film as closing-night films have historically gone on to perform well at the Academy Awards. Last year’s closing-night film, Spike Jonze’s Her, went on to receive five Oscar nominations while previous NYFF closing-night films include Alexander Payne’s Sideways and The Descendants, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Jane Campion’s The Piano.
Starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up movie star whose claim to fame was a role as the superhero “Birdman,” the film follows his attempts to revive his career through a Broadway play. But after watching the trailer, it becomes clear that Fox Searchlight’s synopsis is selling the story considerably short in what appears to be a bizarre dark dramedy with surrealistic elements. Additionally, the film’s supporting cast includes Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis, Merritt Wever, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan, and Naomi Watts, so it also isn’t exactly lacking in star power.
For the Mexican-born Iñárritu, who also co-wrote the film, Birdman is the fifth feature film he has directed following Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006), and Biutiful (2010). Aside from the fascinatingly strange story at work in the film, it has also earned a lot of buzz due to the style of the film. According to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Tree of Life), Birdman is shot and edited in such a way as to emulate one continuous shot throughout the entire film.