View My Stats

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why "Birdman" Didn't Deserve It's Oscars---Spoiler Alert!!

When I did my Report Card on "Birdman", I did not reveal the story hole at the end of the film, because of a potential "spoiler alert".
Now, everybody and their mothers are doing spoiler alerts.
After all the spoiler alerts on the Oscar telecast, my feeling is that the gloves are off.
But at least I'm telling you about it up front.
So if you don't want to know what the spoiler alert is, stop reading now.
Otherwise, continue.
I think it's worth it.


A film, as fantasy oriented as it is, must adhere to it's own reality.

Keaton wants his play to succeed.

You can't do a one-eighty and have him not care whether his play succeeds or not.

That would be a violation of it's own reality, no matter how much he flies around as a version of Superman.

That can be dismissed as a figment of Keaton's imagination.

The audience is led to believe that, out of despair, Keaton is going to kill himself onstage on Opening Night.

But he has other plans to save the show.

The play that Keaton is starring in gets great reviews, and is going to have a sustaining run for only one reason:

Keaton actually daringly shoots his nose off. Intentionally.

That's the happy ending.

Everyone, including Keaton, is thrilled that they have a hit play.

My question is "What do they do from the second night on?"

It's never addressed.

How is it going to have a sustainable run?

Keep sending Keaton out there on stage to have him keep shooting his nose off?

It's already gone.

He has no nose.

Do you have his understudy go on and shoot HIS own nose off? If he's willing?

Okay. Then what do you do the third night?

Do you just keep rounding up actors to take over the role for one night each?

Including two matinees?

That would be my solution.

Have the question addressed, have someone else remark that "We're getting calls from agents from both coasts, representing actors who would LOVE to step in for one night to shoot their own noses off. That's how desperate actors are for the work. And for the attention."

This may seem pretty far-fetched, but at least it addresses the problem.

And it would have made me laugh.

Getting the award for Best Screenplay was an abomination.
But it was otherwise a pretty good movie.
At least it didn't get nosed out by "Boyhood"
And Michael Keaton got robbed.
"The Imitation Game" was a perfect movie.
Or 'Whiplash".
They had no holes of any kind.
They were about something meaningful.
Either should have won.
A Best Picture should not have such a major story hole.
I don't think there ever was one before this that did.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.


  1. Hi Mark,

    I assumed he had tried to kill himself, but botched it, taking only his nose. So his success comes only because he could't even kill himself properly, which drives him to jump out the hospital window.

    Myself, I thought the while thing fell apart in the last five seconds.


  2. Everyone involved was pleased that they had a "hit".
    How did they have a "hit"?
    I think he jumped for joy out of the hospital window because he knew he could soar, like the Birdman that he was.
    Those kinds of liberties I can understand.

  3. The critic wrote it was a hit, so it's a hit. The critic loathes Keaton for celebrity, but her decree of 'hit' comes without any understanding of what she's seen, nor a thought to how it can be sustained or repeated because she doesn't understand what artists do and is manufacturing the empty celebrity she so hates. Everyone around Keaton is so wrapped up in the 'success' (or their own guilt) they haven't bothered thinking about the next step.

    Perhaps our difference is just that I saw a funny and bleak film that ended in suicide and you saw a funny and bleak film that wanted to end on triumph?

    (The other jarring thing for me is the timing in the last backstage scene, where his ex-wife comes to visit him backstage in interval. They're talking for a couple of minutes, then he's called to position for the final scene of the play?)


  4. Unrelated, I would love to hear your opinion of the new Odd Couple. I've never realized how much I miss... Demond Wilson. The writing is horrendous, awful 'take my wife, please' type one-liners. And although I think Mathew Perry is extremely talented, I cringe anytime he's referred to as 'Oscar.'

  5. I watched the first one. I thought that it was cheesy of them to directly lift dialogue from the play. Otherwise, I wasn't offended or delighted. The two leads are fine.
    It made me chuckle twice. But that's not enough to make me come back.
    I watched that first episode right after I watched the one-hour finale of Two and a Half Men, which made me laugh harder than anything.
    So "The Odd Couple" really paled in comparison.
    But I wish them all well.

  6. There's a chance you're eligible for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  7. You might be qualified for a free Apple iPhone 7.



Blog Archive

About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."