I’ve long been haunted by Raymond Carver’s short stories. “A Small, Good Thing” and “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” in particular. I think they’re beautiful, but deeply sad. They also disturb me because they contradict my core beliefs that we are all connected and that communication can save us. Which is one of the many reasons (in addition to perfect casting, incredible performances, an extraordinary script, and fearless directing) that I loved Birdman. Although the film, centered around a Broadway adaptation of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” perfectly echoes Carver’s minimalism and intensity, there is also a humor, a playfulness, and a hope that the film expresses that are all its own. And its ultimately the balance of both that makes for an utterly transcendent film experience.