Expect the Unexpected

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Birdman, J.K. Simmons soar at Oscars

Birdman takes the Oscar for Best Picture.

Birdman takes the Oscar for Best Picture.

Congratulations to Birdman for winning the Oscar for Picture.

Glad to see the Academy recognizing creative original films. In the past, films like Birdman might have been considered too strange for mainstream viewers.

So big credit due to (now) Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu for crafting a film with a crazy plot that pushes the lines of reality and fantasy (and believability), utilizing long one-take camera shots, and accompanying it all with a crashing drum score.

It’s a good thing I didn’t know all those details about Birdman before going to see it. I might have passed on it. But what hooked me was Michael Keaton’s presence. I loved him in Beetlejuice, Mr. Mom, Pacific Heights, and Batman. So, I was curious about his latest film and comeback.

Innaritu’s choice to cast Keaton was akin to Quentin Tarantino resurrecting John Travolta’s sagging career with Pulp Fiction. Pretty brilliant casting to attract mainstream audiences. Toss in Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and a crisp crossover role for Josh Galifianikis, and Birdman was truly a “wow” of a ride.

Reiterating what I said yesterday, this film is BEST seen on the big screen if you can find it in a theater.

Also, thrilled for J.K. (Kim) Simmons, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Whiplash. He was scary good at playing scary bad. His acceptance speech reminding viewers to call their moms was heartwarming.

Tip: To see Simmons in a polar opposite role from Whiplash, catch the 2003 film Off the Map starring Sam Elliott.

Favorite Oscar musical number: Lady Gaga. Didn’t expect such a rousing medley of The Sound of Music. Even Julie Andrews looked delighted.


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