Since it's a movie about an actor best known for playing a superhero, it's not entirely strange for the Birdman movie website to have a section of comics. Unexpected, sure, but it makes a certain kind of sense. The story of the film surrounds an actor whose public persona is tied to a superhero film franchise. Comics could help tie the movie more tightly to that superhero's mythology, and flesh out the world of a film in an interesting and engaging way for fans who are curious to find out more. But here's the thing: The comics on the Birdman website aren't about Birdman at all. Instead, they're about its star, Michael Keaton, telling strange stories about how he was attacked by Michael Douglas and forced to change his name, how a meeting with Chris Farley involved prophecies of death, and, perhaps strangest of all, a long text piece about Courtney Cox's unfortunate super-powers.
A few months ago, the Internet celebrated the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ as the Internet is wont to do: retrospectives, lists about things we may or may not have known about ‘Batman,’ embeddable clips from Prince’s ‘Batdance.’ So it’s kind of fitting that both the director of ‘Batman,’ Tim Burton, and its star, Michael Keaton, currently have movies out that are considered respective departures. Burton, for dropping his signature style to make the Margaret Keane biopic, ‘Big Eyes,’ and Keaton for playing off his own persona as Batman in ‘Birdman’—a movie Burton has yet to see, but that fact doesn’t stop Burton from saying many wonderful things about Keaton.
We’ve got two more big awards updates today, and they come from the Online Film Critics Society and the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the body responsible for the annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The OFCS (of which I’m a member) announced their winners, giving the Best Picture of 2014 to Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’; the film also won Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Meanwhile the BFCA (of which ScreenCrush editor-in-chief Mike Sampson is a member) announced their nominees for the Critics’ Choice Awards. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ was among the Best Picture nominees, along with Oscar contenders ‘Boyhood,’ ‘The Imitation Game,’ ‘Selma,’ and ‘Birdman,’ which led all films with 13 CCA nominations.
If you’re going to play the Oscar prediction game, the Screen Actors Guild Awards are often one of the biggest indicators of who’s going to get nominated and who’s going to win. The actors represent the largest portion of the Academy’s voting body, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the nominations for the 21st Annual SAG Awards are hugely representative of what we will end up seeing when Oscar nominations are announced early next year. And that’s a shame: These are some of the safest and most predictable nominations in a long time.
Conventional wisdom says that award-winning movies are released after Labor Day, usually in mid-October through early December, after playing at the Telluride or Toronto film festivals. Academy voters have notoriously short memories, and films released outside of that window tend to get lost in the shuffle. But so far Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is bucking that trend in a big way, at least with critics groups. Over the weekend, Linklater’s epic coming-of-age drama swept the Best Picture prizes from critics associations in three major cities: Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. That comes on the heels of the film also receiving the Best Picture award from the New York Film Critics Circle. That doesn’t necessarily mean ‘Boyhood’ is lock for an Academy Award win, or even a nomination, but at least the latter is looking more and more likely.
341 movies were submitted, and nominating committees of “writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, critics, casting directors, film festival programmers, and other working film professionals” chose their favorites. (What, no caterers?) Those votes were tallied and the results are the nominees below, for the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards, generally regarded as the most important and prestigious awards for independent film in the country.
You've seen the trailers and clips for 'Birdman,' the new film starring Michael Keaton as an actor who used to star in superhero movies and is now trying to take his career in a different, more serious direction by staging what he hopes will be a very successful and well-received play. And now you can watch a fake trailer for 'Birdman Returns,' the movie within the movie, starring Keaton's Riggan Thomson as the Birdman superhero, with echoes of Batman, obviously -- although it seems a bit more Joel Schumacher Batman than Tim Burton Batman.
When I met Ryan at a brand new Midtown Manhattan hotel, I explained this is the second time we had met (I always assume that no one ever remembers me) and, well, the memories of our last time together came back -- an interview that involved a misunderstanding over the phrase “America’s scorn.” (I had meant the scorn she might receive because her character from ‘The Office,’ Holly, was taking Michael Scott away; she thought I meant some sort of new project titled ‘America’s Scorn.') The last time I spoke to Ryan,'15 Awesome Minutes with Awesomely Awesome Amy Ryan.’ Well, here are 19 more…
When you've been in Hollywood as long as Michael Keaton has, you've probably seen a lot of weird stuff created by fans -- a lot of signs and strange drawings and maybe a wacky letter here and there -- and although that sounds a little off-putting, Keaton is into it. At least, he's into it when your fan art is good, as was the case with a 'Beetlejuice' tattoo he spotted during a late night shoot on his upcoming 'Birdman.'
People love watching famous people accept trophies. So, every so often, The Huffington Post’s Chris Rosen and ScreenCrush’s Mike Ryan will speculate about these trophies and which famous person might win one. It will be fun. Let’s talk some trophies! Today, we discuss the prospects of Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in 'Birdman' and Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice,' which both screened at the New York Film Festival.