In films like 21 Grams, Biutiful, and Babel, he revels in the misery of his characters and then contrives to make them even more miserable. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of misery and pretentiousness in Birdman (which is subtitled The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) but its mostly psychosomatic—and often played for laughs, which is a new thing for Iñárritu.