"Shave off that pathetic goatee. Get some surgery. Sixty's the New Thirty, motherfucker!"
Birdman/Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton)
Perhaps that is a little unfair - Keaton has been providing solid output on the sidelines for quite some time, working with the likes of Will Ferrell (The Other Guys) and Tom Hanks (Toy Story 3). But there is no doubt that Keaton has not hit the heights of his Tim Burton-directed stints as troubled vigilante Batman for a while. Well his agents are certainly ironing their shirts and pressing their suits in anticipation of all the big scripts that should start pouring through their mailboxes... And deservedly so. For Keaton is a revelation in director Alejandro González Iñárritu's jet-black comedy-drama about a washed-up, former Hollywood megastar searching for meaning to his life by putting on a vanity project on Broadway, with all the farcical and psychological implications one can imagine this side of Noises Off! Not that Keaton is alone in attracting superlatives - Edward Norton has arguably never been better as Method-craving prima donna stage actor Mike Shiner, consistently battling Keaton's Riggan Thomas in a hilarious dick-measuring contest of talent and ability. Emma Stone proves again why she is the most exciting young actress of her generation, while supporting actors (players?) Zach Galafianakis, Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough add rich threads to the film's tapestry.