The Blunt Reason Howard Stern Hates Birdman

Like clockwork, the Birdman backlash has begun. It never fails. Whenever a movie survives the rigors of the grueling Academy Awards campaign – facing intense scrutiny from all corners – and emerges victorious on Oscar night, people line up Monday morning to begin shitting all over the film just deemed "Best" by a collective group. As for Birdman, it’s terrible, according to the King of all Media, Howard Stern.

Stern was discussing the Oscar race with late-night talk show host Seth Meyers, and decided to unleash on Alejandro Inarritu’s industry comedy. But Stern didn’t just give the movie a thumbs down. He full-on threw Birdman completely under the bus! Stern critiqued:

I thought Birdman was the biggest piece of shit… I thought it was pretentious. Listen, I’ve seen movies about acting, especially about Broadway -- A Chorus Line, All That Jazz -- that handled this subject so much better. I think it gets these accolades because actors love to see shit about actors.

Seth Meyers didn’t exactly disagree with Howard Stern about Birdman, though he did take a more balanced approach by saying that his favorite part of Inarritu’s now-Oscar-winner were the performances. Which is completely unusual – to me, and to Seth Meyers apparently – that Birdman could win Best Picture while Emma Stone, Edward Norton and Michael Keaton would lose out in their respective categories. This is a movie ABOUT actors acting, isn’t it? But the actors in the Acting Movie didn’t act well enough, even though the movie got Best Picture? I’m not sure that will ever make sense to me. Look at these two go at it in a NSFW clip from Birdman:

Then again, I’m one of the people who fall into Stern’s camp, finding Birdman to be a pretentious exercise in stroking "actorly" ego. Which, I completely understand, is part of the point of the movie. If not the entire point of the movie. And that’s enjoyable… for about an hour. Then, in my opinion, the movie needed to shift gears and start dissecting something else. And I don’t think it ever got there. I have problems with the film’s ending. I would have preferred a Boyhood win (or, especially, a Whiplash win, but that underdog movie was always a Best Picture longshot).

As the saying goes, opinions are like assholes. We all have them. Most of them stink. And Howard Stern just voiced his about Birdman. Do you agree with him?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.