Edie Falco, Betty Gilpin, Stephen Wallem, Merritt Wever and Dominic Fumusa - Cast of 'Nurse Jackie' rings The New York Stock Exchange opening bell at New York Stock Exchange - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 2nd April 2015
Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu continues to reject traditional narrative structures with this whizzy, ambitious exploration of celebrity, art and commerce. And the clever casting of Michael Keaton adds another layer of meaning to the whole film, which is shot as one long wildly entertaining single take and pointedly subtitled "The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance". Blackly hilarious and darkly emotional, this is an exploration of how show business can push a person to the brink of madness. And maybe knock them over the edge.
Keaton stars as Riggan, once a top movie star known for his three Birdman blockbusters. But he hasn't done anything notable since, and is now trying to reboot his career by directing, adapting and starring in a Broadway play based on a Raymond Chandler story. The problem is that no one will let him escape from the iconic superhero character he's best known for, least of all Birdman himself, who mentally haunts and taunts Riggan at every turn. Meanwhile in the theatre, Riggan locks horns with costar Mike (Edward Nortan), a controlling show-off brought in at the request of lead actress Lesley (Naomi Watts). As opening night approaches, Riggan and his producer-friend Jake (Zach Galifianakis) are also struggling with the demands of high-maintenance costar Laura (Andrea Riseborough), plus distractions from Riggan's daughter-assistant (Emma Stone) and ex-wife (Amy Ryan).
Inarritu and ace cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki tell this story as if it's one continuous snaky shot with the camera following Riggan through the maze-like backstage corridors, into the theatre and out into nearby Times Square streets. The virtuoso filmmaking is simply breathtaking, and it works perfectly because all of the characters are packed with pungent details and fully developed inner lives. The actors find all kinds of quirks that are both hilarious and darkly thoughtful, creating jagged interaction as they cross paths with each other, sparring riotously for attention. Every scene bristles with startling revelations and barbed jabs at the Hollywood system.
Continue reading: Birdman Review
L to R, Betty Gilpin, Merritt Wever, Edie Falco, Adam Ferrara, Anna Devere Smith, Richie Jackson and Clyde Phillips - The Paley Center for Media Present Paleyfest; Made in New York Nurse Jackie 10 06 13 - NYC, NY, United States - Sunday 6th October 2013
Merritt Wever - Dominic Fumosa, Merritt Wever and Stephen Wallem New York City, USA - Opening night after party for the Signature Theatre Company production of 'The Illusion' held at the West Bank Cafe - Arrivals Sunday 5th June 2011
While her boss Phil Greenberg (Messina) and family are on holiday, Florence (Gerwig) is taking care of their home and dog. And she also ends up taking care of his brother Roger (Stiller) when he comes to stay in the house. Roger is obsessive-compulsive and not very good at relationships. He gets in touch with his old pal (Ifans) and his newly single ex (Leigh), but is unable to avoid falling for Florence along the way. This doesn't go too well at all, mainly because Roger can't think through anything clearly.
Continue reading: Greenberg Review
Anna (Michelle Williams) is the vacuous, borderline-underage girlfriend of mobster Billy (Meat Loaf), and the deleterious effect of watching her criminal lover murder a restaurateur (Louis Zorich) - coupled with the recent death of her G.I. brother Dan (Wendell Pierce), who perished after post-WWII electro-shock treatments administered at the request of their nasty parents - has left the girl a psychological mess. Fortunately, frightening Dr. Harold Ashton (Bill Raymond) has just arrived in town promoting a newfangled cure-all that strikes Anna's easily swayed fancy: the transorbital lobotomy, which the neurologist claims will eradicate everything from anxiety and insomnia to alcoholism. The "ice-pick lobotomy" - a popular procedure apparently based on historical fact, and so nicknamed because of the primary instrument used - is immediately appealing to Anna, who sees it as the easiest method of coping with her traumatic life. Will she go through with the dangerous operation, thus choosing to forget, rather than confront, her painful memories? Will the town's new resident Tom (Tim Guinee), an honest Korean War vet being blackmailed by Billy, succeed in convincing Anna that lobotomies are a less-than-reasonable therapeutic solution to one's problems? Will Ledes create something coherent out of his symbolism-saturated story?
Continue reading: A Hole In One Review