Backstage never felt soclaustrophobic. So does life sometimes. Birdman is about pursuing authentic dreams while others try to pigeonhole you to old to old patterns, even those you have embraced and believed inside yourself. Self doubt is brought up to an art form, especially through the award worthy performance of Michael Keaton.
He plays a still popular Matinee Idol known for playing a blockbuster super movie hero named Birdman who is making a legitimate attempt at a Broadway play. He is full of self doubt and is raw in both his frailty and self doubt.
He is also up against the snobbery and self importance of the Broadway elite who would rather execute good talent, if its roots did not follow their own traditional approved pathway to the stage,
The exploration of ego and self doubt is explored against the maniacal ,chaotic and risky business of opening a play on Broadway.. This movie is one of the best of the year supported by great acting performances, in addition to Keaton, like Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Naomi Watts.
The movie is the integration of the life of an artist and its themes with life. I recommend it highly.