Over the weekend I had the pleasure of screening the sure-to-be-nominated acting/directing tour de force, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). It’s an original film, shot in a unique style, filled with some of the best acting I’ve seen all year.
But something was nagging me as the film went along… a feeling I’d seen this story before, with another somewhat bird-like leading character as the star. By the film’s conclusion, my encyclopedic-cartoon brain began to count the similarities in Birdman to a 1957 Friz Freleng Warner Bros. cartoon, Show Biz
Bugs – starring Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.
Here are some striking comparisons I made between the two films (WARNING: Spoilers Below!). See if you agree with my findings:
1. Daffy Duck and Riggan Thomson both gained motion picture
fame playing feathered lunatics.
2. Daffy and Riggan both stake their professional comeback
on a stage performance.
3. Daffy and Riggan are both thwarted in their stage show by a
clever, more appealing rival (Edward Norton/Bugs Bunny)
4. Daffy and Riggan make their way around Times Square without any clothes on.
SPOILER ALERT! 5. Daffy and Riggan commit suicide on stage
…Or do they??
“But…” as Daffy says floating towards the sky, “I can only do it once!”