'Birdman' tops Oscars defined by advocacy, originality

February 23, 2015 9:44 AM

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Hollywood is smarter than you thought. Whether by design or chance, the 87th Academy Awards elegantly and subtly shifted the tone of the season from a reductive fixation on snubs and fact-checking to a positive celebration of original filmmaking and purposeful advocacy for causes as diverse as immigration, suicide and equal rights.

The self-obsessed industry might have given its best picture and director prizes to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman," a trenchant examination of actorly narcissism, but the vanity seemed to stop with the opening of the envelopes. Even in their moments of singular glory, most of the winners ch...

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