Washed-up movie star Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), noted for his portrayal of a flying, feather-clad superhero, attempts to rise from years of obscurity by writing, directing and appearing in a Broadway play. No easy feat---with his daughter (Emma Stone), best friend (Zach Galifianakis), lover (Andrea Riseborough), ex-wife (Amy Ryan)---and a method actor (Edward Norton) caught-up in this hectic venture. Completely unique filmmaking--- courtesy of director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki---make BIRDMAN quite extraordinary!
Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal), an Iranian journalist living in London with his pregnant wife (Claire Foy), returns to Tehran to cover the 2009 Presidential elections and is imprisoned for 118 days---charged with espionage. In the notorious Elvin Prison, Bahari is paired with a "specialist" (Kim Bodnia) skilled in the art of psychological torture. The debut feature of writer/director Jon Stewart (host of THE DAILY SHOW) is presented with impressive tact and intelligence, alternately somber and darkly funny.
Set against the internecine battle waged by Israel and Palestine is the astounding tale of Mosab Hassan Yousef. The son of a Hamas leader, Yousef worked undercover from 1997 to 2007 for Shin Bet--Israel's internal security service--providing highly valuable information. Nadav Schirman's gripping documentary unfolds as a thriller while also detailing the unlikely friendship which developed between the informant and his Israeli handler.