My #4 movie of 2014 is:

One of those movies where you see art imitating life. One of the most hypnotic motion pictures of the year that was equal parts funny, intense, awkward yet well-written, directed, performed and one of the best technical cinematic feats of 2014. A washed out actor, once known to portray an iconic superhero from two decades, decides to break his own personal conventions and gamble everything on bringing his favorite short-story to Broadway while dealing with the exterior challenges from his diva of a co-star, his mess of a daughter, the wreckage of his former marriage, the expectations of his skeptics and critics while wrestling with his own inner-demons in the process of trying to make his play a success. Academy Award nominated director Alejandro González Iñárritu, co-wrote one of the year’s best screenplays with Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo. This film also features one of the year’s best ensembles is led by Michael Keaton and includes Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, Andrea Riseborough and Merritt Weaver. Beautifully shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, seemlessly edited by Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione and accompanied by a snappy percussion score by Antonio Sanchez, who was unjustly snubbed for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year, Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) places in my best films of 2014 as my #4.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Screenwriters: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo

Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, Andrea Riseborough, Merritt Weaver, Lindsey Duncan

Crew: Antonio Sanchez (score), Emmanuel Lubezki (cinematography), Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione (editing), Kevin Thompson (production design), George DeTitta Jr. (set decoration), Albert Wolsky (costume design)

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