Alejandro González Iñárritu’s dark comedy about a Hollywood film star is overwrought and self-indulgentby Sameer Rahim / February 23, 2015 / Leave a comment
After every Oscars ceremony, fans of the less successful films tend to feel aggrieved. This year’s injured parties are the emotional time-lapse drama Boyhood (directed by Richard Linklater), for which Patricia Arquette won best actress but nothing else; and the excellent Selma (directed by Ava DuVernay), for which David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King should have won best actor but didn’t. (It won best original song for Glory). The Oscars, though, aren’t a marker of absolute quality: whatever film triumphs usually has something going for it, and winning the best picture award should be treated about as reliably as a recommendation from a friend who has seen lots of films.
Unfortunately this year’s most successful film, with four Oscars, including best picture, best director and best screenplay, is in my opinion not worth your time. Birdman is a turkey. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film is fresh in my mind since I saw it last night on a hunch that it would do well. The plot has promise: Michael Keaton is a fading Hollywood star haunted by his one success playing a superhero called Birdman in the 1990s. To gain artistic credibility and relaunch his career, he is directing a theatr…