In todays world of movies where most releases are based on Marvel Comic book characters the comedy-drama “Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” is one of those rare movies that stirs your soul and asks you to think about the meaning of your own life. Are you truly living the life you wanted to live?
The movie stars Michael Keaton as Riggans an over the hill iconic action hero who some feel sold out by making action movies instead of plays or important movies that require the work of a real actor. This lack of respect for Riggans and the billion dollar action flicks he made has worn him down damaging his ego and leaving him with some deep mental scars.
Riggans now in his early sixties finds himself questioning his vanity, relevance and most everything about the man he has become. He decides the only way for him to gain back his relevance with his fans and the love of his daughter is to produce, write and star in a Broadway Play. All of this has more to do with how he feels about himself than how others see him. His ego, another character in the movie constantly taunts him and twists his mind in various directions.
Emma Stone plays Riggan’s druggie daughter who suffers the consequences of her Fathers laser focus on his career and abandonment of his family. In one an incredibly powerful scene she unloads on Riggans when he tries to make himself feel relevant to her. “You are doing this play because you want to feel relevant again. Things are happening in a place you ignore. A place by the way that has already forgotten about you. You hate bloggers. You mock Twitter. You don’t even have a Facebook Page. You’re the one who doesn’t exist. You’re not important get used to it.”
A strong reminder that in spite of articles and books that claim otherwise finding an effective balance between career and family is often quite elusive. Especially for those who naively believe they can easily toggle back and forth between career and family without any consequences.
This is one of the brightest points of the movie and it’s a good reason for reflection as we approach the holidays. Gifts and money do not make up for not being present at home. There is nothing more important in life than our families and sometimes we need to be reminded of this. Family should always be above career because long after your career is over what will you have in your life? Seeing the movie Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance might just remind you of this.
About the Author Jeremy Smith
After more than 30 years in strategic sales and marketing, Jeremy’s senior management and graphic arts resume reads like a roll call of iconic brands including Chobani Greek Yogurt, Bob’s Red Mill, EVOL Foods, GoRaw, Saffron Road, Gardein, 5- Hour Energy, Levi’s, Paramount Pictures, and Apple Computer. His vast experience launching and building brands anchors Level One’s unique ability to provide Club representation, high-level design and branding services, a vital asset for companies looking to become widely recognized nationally.