Last night I saw Birdman. And although I agree with the world that Michael Keaton is phenomenal and left it all on the stage, as they say and Emma Stone and especially Naomi Watts whom I’ve never fallen for before, blew me away – I didn’t love the movie.I did however love the female message. That we are all weak in the presence of insane narcissistic, creative and adorable men, but we will kick and scream about our plight and fight-on with our own demons to free ourselves from their clutches. Codependent Sisterhood unite!
watching the over indulgent, self involved actor/theater life bored me, maybe because I’ve lived it myself for so many years and am sick of it. Yes creative rawness and talent still excites me, but not talking about it ad nauseam. And the roller coaster ride of unedited scenes made me so uneasy that I started to tune out.
Then, about an hour in, the relationship with his daughter and ex-wife came into play and I woke up. The love they had for each other in their marriage despite his cheating and acting out had such a deep rooted truth for me in observing my parents, as well as the dynamics of many of my own relationships, was spot on. The understanding and respect she has for his talent, despite his infantile behavior was my mom. And the daughter/father interaction was almost exactly my own. She lives to be close to him and his work, hating and wanting his approval and yet simultaneously parenting him, is what I did best. And his weakness and shame at bad parenting and husbanding – also real as fuck.
My favorite part of the movie was his fantasy/reality of his Birdman character/alter ego. I often communicate with parts of myself, the wise one, the frightened child, as well as a universal energy voice that I often surrender to, to guide me through. I would love to fly above the city without fear, escaping my own angst, flying, flying, flying. Who wouldn’t? And moving objects with my mind, especially ones that smash against the wall – would be a dream come true.
I didn’t sleep much last night… haunted by my emotional attachment to the themes of this film, as well as Michael Keaton’s vulnerable eyes and pouty mouth. And while driving my car this morning, I thought about my father and our complicated and oh so close relationship and literally said to him, in my mind, “oh Pa you were something.” And as if on queue, Stevie Wonder’s You Are the Sunshine of My Life came on the radio. My father sang that song to me more times than I can say. It was his song for me. On my 18th birthday he gave me 7 wrapped books. They were the complete edition of Tennessee Williams. Inside each book was one word written on a card.
You. Are. The. Sunshine. Of. My. Life.