It’s easy, when considering the work of Alejandro
González Iñárritu, to think he’s a master showman, an aficionado of the emotional grandstand, given to stadium-sized themes, maybe even a little maudlin. You would be justified in thinking that, in fact. It’s important to remember, though, that Iñárritu is also interested in the more shy, quiet side of emotional trauma and conflict, and how these stressors reveal themselves in the human face. Does Brad Pitt look glamorous when he’s sobbing in ‘Babel‘? No. Does Michael Keaton remind you of Bruce Wayne when he’s stomping around backstage in ‘Birdman‘ in a silly wig? No, and yet in both cases, the characters the actors play are withstanding Herculean challenges whose strain we can see in their humanized and imperfect appearance. Miguel Branco‘s lyrical and swift but also staggering homage to Iñárritu plays up a side of the director’s work which deserves longer shrift than it commonly receives: enjoy.