Murphy Kenefick’s review published on Letterboxd:
“I’d like to try something a little less…considered.”
She says that before directly copying Bernstein’s cover. The ultimate narcissist who has mastered the art of getting exactly what she wants by charming everyone into thinking there’s no way she could be lying. She is at once the lonely, misunderstood, obsessive child who found something she loved that could set her apart and the ruthless, wrathful maestro who has successfully made her way to the top. What is born from love and desire festers into something she cannot share. Hubris brings her down like in any other tragedy, but does it make it less tragic that she’s as unlikable as she is? That despite her immaculate vocabulary and talent and bravado, she’s still a “little bit crooked” predator like the crocodiles leftover from Marlon Brando. Field chooses to give us the full look at Lydia: expertly weaving tonally and screenwriterally™️ instead of setting everything just so to give the boring rise and fall story this easily could have been. He asks the question: “What if Birdman was subtle and not so considered?” Deeply rooted insecurity transferred into a desperate need to be right, to conquer, to complete the very last piece of her catalogue. There is no clean, considered, announced conflict or resolution. Instead of making eye contact with the audience, Field weaves dreamlike symbols and stark, dull realities with ease because he knows that the question is always more interesting.
This third viewing was the most productive: now that I had already known all the pieces and where they were going (and wasn’t distracted by LCJ), I was able to marvel at the arrangement and a few shocking things I hadn’t noticed before (two split-second sightings of Krista haunting in the background). For a movie to be about this many things in a time where movies struggle to be about even one thing, to be this funny and chilling, to feel this controlled and sprawling just like the conflict inside Lydia, is beyond impressive and I’m prepared now to call it a masterpiece. Shame that it won’t win any of the Oscars it’s nominated for and thoroughly deserves, but isn’t that just another little bonus ending.