On Friday, moviegoers will finally be treated to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s soaringly beautiful “Birdman.” This ambitious cinematic experience, shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, appears to unfold as a single take that literally revolves in and around the world of washed-up tentpole movie star Riggan (Michael Keaton), who’s having an existential crisis while mounting a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver. (Watch Anne Thompson’s Iñárritu video interview here and her chat with composer Antonio Sanchez here.)
Another existential crisis is had by Jason Schwartzman’s title character in “Listen Up Philip,” the latest piece of movie misanthropy from director Alex Ross Perry (who we interviewed here). This chronicle of a narcissistic New York author’s ego implosion won’t please everybody, or most even, but a blonde and marvelous Elisabeth Moss saves the day as the ex-girlfriend who’s recovering from loving him.
Also out of Sundance arrives “Dear White People,” Justin Simien’s boldly funny satire of interracial dating and politics on a college campus. This provocative debut starring Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson and Dennis Haysbert wants to get you talking (and it earned high marks from TOH! at Sundance).
Jorge Gutierrez’s “The Book of Life” and Studio Ghibli auteur Isao Takahata’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” are this weekend’s animated openers. In our TOH! interview, “Book of Life” producer Guillermo del Toro promises a playfully postmodern ode to Mexico. “Princess Kaguya,” meanwhile, reinvents a classic Japanese folktale with handmade visual wonder and voice work from Chloe Grace Moretz as the girl who comes of age.
Director David Ayer’s competently crafted WWII picture “Fury” may not be the critics’ darling of the weekend. But it’s certainly the top-biller, with Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman and Michael Peña rounding out the cast. Is it war movie Oscar bait or B-movie actioner? We’re not sure, and here’s why.
Head to Rotten Tomatoes for the rest of this weekend’s openers. Trailers for “Birdman,” “Listen Up Philip,” “Dear White People,” “The Book of Life,” “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” and “Fury” below.