When you watch MICHAEL KEATON on screen, there’s more than a little magic on display.

Michael Keaton as Riggan Thompson in Birdman

Keaton as Riggan Thompson in Birdman

I recently highlighted the new film with the superbly dynamic MICHAEL KEATON in my post Watch this Birdman fly and that could soon be a prophetic statement if he walks away with the ‘Best Actor’ Oscar in March.  He’s currently the frontrunner for the award. But right now, with the critical acclaim he’s received for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film Birdman, it feels a good moment to celebrate this actor whose incredible inventiveness has always made me think that the quality he brings to the characters we’ve seen him play is magic.

KEATON has always been an actor I’ve admired a lot for that real lightness of touch that he seems to display in all of his movies making it all look so effortless, whether it’s broad comedy or serious drama, whatever the role. His recent performances in such diverse fare as the remake of Robocop and the wacky comedy The Other Guys have been great but in more of a supporting capacity, which is why it’s so great to see him back on the screen in a leading role in Birdman.

Most of his key performances in his career to date are mentioned in the interview in The Guardian below but let’s just run through some of my faves:

a certain demonic Beetlejuice

a drug addict trying to reform in Clean and Sober

the (first) landmark Batman with Tim Burton

the bumbling constable in Kenneth Branagh’s version of Much Ado About Nothing

a by-the-book FBI agent in the pair of Tarantino films Jackie Brown and Out of Sight

Andy Garcia and Michael Keaton in Desperate Measures

as Peter McCabe in Desperate Measures alongside Andy Garcia

his terrific stay-at-home Dad in the comedy Mr. Mom

an absolutely terrifying tenant in Pacific Heights

his glorious double-edged killer opposite the great Andy Garcia in Barbet Schroeder’s thriller Desperate Measures

a hilarious voicing of Ken in Toy Story 3

his harassed editor up against the story of his career in Ron Howard’s ensemble drama The Paper

And now KEATON is a leading man again and he talks about how much he’s enjoyed being able to do such varied work in his career “experimenting here, trying at this, failing at that, being good in some things, not so good in others. It’s kind of amazing…”

All I can say is, long may it continue!

MICHAEL KEATON – Oscar bound?