Talents: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough. Written by : Alejandro Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo. Directed by : Alejandro Iñárritu.
Tiera – Lots to enjoy here. A filmic experiment, it was edited to look like one long take save a few ‘soft’ or subtle transitions to different locations. It’s an effective attempt as it brings you into the story, and keeps you there. This really serves the script as the director and co-writer, recognizing the rather weighty nature of the material, manages to not only maintain viewers attention. What’s keeps us invested is the caliber of acting on display . It was shot quickly, 20 days, that probably helped here. Director Iñárritu gets excellent performances out of his actors especially Micheal Keaton who was throughly used, in a good way, allowing him to shine but not over-shadow his co-stars (apologies on the mixed euphemisms). Not really a fan of the director before this and I would call this as his most coherent work.
Tiere – It’s a familiar story : A down and out __________ (actor) gets one last chance to redeem him / herself by ___________________ (funding / producing/ directing/ writing and starring in a broadway play) therein is a journey of self discovery to acceptance via exorcising psychic ghosts and mending fences with family, friends and colleagues. Inside Hollywood jokes abound, mirrors are held up to the actors and the plight of modern celebrity in general. Cutting or shooting rather, ones nose off to spite their face and in turn spinning personal tragedy into career boost gold. Good dramatic turn from everyone, including favorite Emma Stone with a nice addition to her portfolio here (Oscar nod Yo!) and Ed Norton, love or hate him, he’s always captivating. For the readers among us, this is based on the short-story ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ by Raymond Carver. Not his first tap on shoulder from Hollywood “So Much Water So Close to Home” and “Tell the Women We’re Going” were adapted for Robert Altman’s 1993 feature film Short Cuts. And for the Broadway crowd there are several clever jabs directed at the theatre housing the play this movie centers around.
Tiero – Despite Super Hero movies currently being big business we get an insight into the curse it could be seen as. We get a simplified but respectful look into the psyche of an actor famous for playing a super hero. Throughout the film, Micheal Keaton is spurred on by this foul-mouthed alter ego resulting in some ‘real super powers’ on display culminating in a cool action sequence right out of said movies. Also some scantily clad famous bodies along with some sexual stuff smattered throughout. Last by not least there’s Zach Galifianakis, the familiar and beloved(?) general goof ball, dirt bag buffoon. At first I was ‘oh no’ it’s that guy but he was surprisingly steady in this, it’s a legitimate acting performance and it’s impressive, really, to see him nail a mature gig. Not sure if that’s good or bad as it lacks his usual ridiculousness but you do realize he is an actual actor not just a reactor.