I opted to see this at the last minute, instead of Interstellar, because I worried that Interstellar might have too much of a feeling of self-importance about it for an early Saturday matinee. Hoo boy. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the wrong choice. Birdman wants to say something about what it means to be an artist — what it means to invest your heart and your soul in a project and to be racked with anxiety over the potential outcomes: fame! fortune! ruin! mockery! — but the chosen method of delivery is a hoary old backstage drama bereft of ideas.
I had my doubts about Shakespeare in Love on my way into the theater. First off, there’s that sick-making title, half Hallmark card and half Harlequin romance. Second, there was the uninspiring trailer that’s begun showing in front of art flicks in New York. So it was with no small measure of charm and aplomb that director John Madden’s fanciful imagining of the early days of William Shakespeare won me over. Continue reading