May 2, 2015

Transitional states


Biutiful (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2010). You can see why Birdman’s many fans (I’m one) thought that Inarritu needed to lighten up after the ever decreasing doom and seriousness of 21 Grams, Babel and (especially) Biutiful, but are the worlds on screen really so different? Or is Michael Keaton’s tormented, charismatic, supernaturally-inspired Riggan in Birdman just the comic inverse of the increasingly ruined Uxbal (Javier Bardem) in Biutiful? Breakdowns (personality, marriage, career) played for laughs not as tragedy. Wise children, dreams, drug moments, transitional states.