Movie Review: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman

The Stake


“A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage…”

These words from Shakespeare’s Macbeth appear about halfway through Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, screamed by a crazy person on the streets of New York while the film’s antihero is at his lowest point. Michael Keaton, playing a washed-up Hollywood actor trying to restart his career with a staging of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” struts and frets at every hour of his play’s opening weekend. The film itself, meanwhile, is “full of sound and fury,” and although with Iñarritu at the helm Birdman is hardly a “tale told by an idiot,” the question of what exactly it signifies is still open. Something more than nothing, certainly, even if I’m not yet sure what that something is.

But let me back up. Birdman tells the story of an actor named Riggan Thompson, who made millions playing a Batman-like…

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