MISTAKING THE CHARACTER FOR THE ACTOR—AN UP TO THE MINUTE EXAMPLE. Just after I posted on the occasional inability of critics to tell the difference between an actor and the role she is playing, the New Yorker (October 20) arrived with a review of Michael Keaton’s new movie Birdman. The review begins with the thought that Keaton “has always behaved onscreen as if he knew that there was a raging mosquito bite somewhere on his person but could not quite locate it”. The review then gives supporting examples: “…what drove his Bruce Wayne to fight crime, in “Batman” (1989), was not so much civic outrage as a rich man’s anxiety and ennui; at supper with Kim Basinger, he confessed that he had never been in his own dining-room before….”
Of course, it was the character Bruce Wayne who had never been in his own dining-room before.