One of the most hotly anticipated films of the year is Birdman. Directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu (21 Grams), and blessed with the lengthy subtitle “Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance,” the film is a showcase for the actor formerly known as Batman and Beetlejuice: Michael Keaton.
Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, a once-renowned acting star who’s juice has dried up in the two decades since featuring in the superhero trilogy Birdman (and turning down Birdman 4). He’s about to begin preview performances for his big comeback attempt—a stage adaptation on Broadway of Raymond Carver’s play What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, which is written, directed by, and starring Thomson opposite Lesley (Naomi Watts), another film actor making her Broadway debut, and Laura (Andrea Riseborough), a sometime flame.
Like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, the film appears to be shot in one continuous take by Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity), and has garnered rave reviews out of the Venice Film Festival, where it bowed. Oscar pundits have slotted Keaton as the front-runner for the Best Actor Oscar for his vulnerable, emotionally naked turn, and the film also stars Emma Stone as Thomson’s troubled daughter, as well as Zach Galifianakis as his overwhelmed producer/attorney/handler.
In this exclusive clip from Birdman, in select theaters Oct. 17, watch Keaton try to keep his cool while being grilled by a handful of insane film journalists hounding him with semen-related questions.