A washed-up Hollywood star (Michael Keaton), famous for playing a winged superhero in a multimillion-dollar action franchise, tries to stage a comeback as a serious actor on Broadway, writing, directing, and starring in a stage adaptation of Raymond Carver's story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." Given Keaton's identification with the title character in Batman (1989), his role here might seem like the ultimate stunt casting. Yet before playing the Caped Crusader, he'd already distinguished himself in both comedy (Beetlejuice) and drama (Clean and Sober), and he more than holds his own in a cast that includes Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, and Zach Galifianakis. Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of such ethereal dramas as Babel and 21 Grams, counterbalances the wicked backstage comedy with surreal flights of fancy, pondering the gulf between dubious celebrity and artistic immortality.
By J.R. Jones