Gus Van Sant's calm direction allows for the gorgeous script to shine in a completely non-cheesy way, thanks partially to all of the actors putting forth their best efforts. Even when referencing its own sense of accommodation for a sappy, romantic story, the film manages to turn these moments into insightful glances at characters' flaws and unrealistic expectations for life's coordination
Got a lot more out of this on the second watch.
All the performances are ridiculous, but also very good. William H. Macy is definitely my favorite performance and plays my favorite character. The script carries an insane story through dark comedy and very mild, reserved observations of American culture. The Coens allow a creative, comical space for the events to happen, making everything that could be mundane, gratuitous, or dramatic appear instead nonsensical and hilarious.
"And for what?"
What's ingenious to me about Birdman is that it achieves a certain fulfillment of intellectual and and literal understanding of the obsessive, artistic self that it portrays throughout all its characters only about halfway through its runtime. This is accomplished in many ways. By using wide lenses to move through dark, narrow hallways, it makes the audience feel the pressure and overwhelming importance that the characters, especially Riggan, feel about themselves. The cinematography makes great use of giving us a…