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Peter Travers on ‘Birdman’: ‘It Gets You Drunk on Movies Again’

Rolling Stone’s movie critic praises Alejandro González Iñárritu’s genre-bending flick as “in contention” for the year’s best film

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In his latest installment of At the Movies, Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers calls Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “howlingly funny” and dramatically devastating Birdman “if not the best movie of the year, certainly up there in contention for it.”

The genre-bending flick stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor who made his name in Hollwood playing the titular superhero. With the best years of his career in the rear-view, he decides to regain his critical respect by directing and starring in an adaptation of a Raymond Carver play – but in the process, he alienates every person in his life, including his fresh-out-of-rehab daughter (Emma Stone) and his pissed-off manager (Edward Norton).

Travers calls Iñárritu a visual “magician,” while also praising Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life, Gravity) as “the best cinematographer in the business,” who makes the film unfold as if it’s one continuous shot. “This movie is taking us places we’ve never been before,” Travers says. “It’s the kind of movie that gets you drunk on movies again.”

The cast is equally brilliant – from Keaton and Norton to comic actor Zach Galifianakis, who takes on a surprisingly dramatic role as an overwhelmed producer. 

“It’s daring,” Travers says of this one-of-a-kind film. “It takes us places we’ve never been before. Iñárritu is so exuberant with what movies can do that you will be too. Birdman is a movie you’ve got to see.”

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