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Birdman: What We Talk About When We Talk About Raymond Carver


While the Oscars always highlight adaptations of books with their Adapted Screenplay category, this year’s Original Screenplay selections feature something a little unusual. Birdman arrived last fall and built up some serious and unexpected hype by the year’s end, eventually earning nine Oscar nominations, tied only with The Grand Budapest Hotel for most nominations this year. And at its center is a well-loved short story, published over thirty years ago but never adapted for the big screen.


Birdman, co-written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, is not actually an adaptation – it’s an original work about an adaptation. The film portrays the struggles of a former Hollywood superstar named Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) as he attempts to stage a theatrical version of Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” that he’s adapting, directing, and starring in himself. It is not going as well as he’d hoped.

Posted by Adam Boffa