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Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

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2:53 | Trailer
A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.
Popularity
726 ( 10)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 192 wins & 279 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Keaton ... Riggan
Emma Stone ... Sam
Kenny Chin ... Korean Grocer
Jamahl Garrison-Lowe ... Stagehand (Daniel)
Zach Galifianakis ... Jake
Naomi Watts ... Lesley
Jeremy Shamos ... Ralph
Andrea Riseborough ... Laura
Katherine O'Sullivan ... Costume Assistant
Damian Young ... Gabriel
Keenan Shimizu Keenan Shimizu ... Han
Akira Ito ... Translator
Natalie Gold ... Clara
Merritt Wever ... Annie
Edward Norton ... Mike
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Storyline

Actor Riggan Thomson is most famous for his movie role from over twenty years ago of the comic book superhero Birdman in the blockbuster movie of the same name and its two equally popular sequels. His association with the role took over his life, where Birdman is more renowned than "Riggan Thomson" the actor. Now past middle age, Riggan is trying to establish himself as a true artist by writing, directing, starring in and co-producing with his best friend Jake what is his Broadway debut, an adaptation of Raymond Carver's story, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. He is staking his name, what little artistic reputation that comes with that name and his life savings on the project, and as such will do anything needed to make the play a success. As he and Jake go through the process of the previews toward opening night, Riggan runs into several issues: needing to find a replacement for the integral supporting male role the night before the first preview; hiring the talented ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$424,397, 19 October 2014

Gross USA:

$42,340,598

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,215,094
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The constant references to the St. James Theatre being "crummy" are an inside joke. In fact, it is one of the most prestigious venues on Broadway, among the many legendary shows that opened there are "Oklahoma!", "The King and I", "The Pajama Game", "Becket", "Hello, Dolly!", and "The Producers". See more »

Goofs

It is twice stated that the St. James Theatre seats 800 people. In actuality, its capacity is approximately 1,700. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Birdman: How did we end up here? This place is horrible. Smells like balls. We don't belong here.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Sundance TV recently released an edited version which removes the swearing and zooms in the scene it shows Edward Norton's butt so it is not shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sean Bradley Reviews: Moonlight (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Harmonium: III. Wild Nights
Composed by John Adams
Performed by the San Francisco Symphony (as San Francisco Symphony & Chorus), Conducted by John Adams
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Amazing! Turbulent, wild, funny, sincere.
29 January 2015 | by snoeren5See all my reviews

This is an amazing film! Great acting and strong story, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Some scenes had me laugh out loud. The film can get a little confusing or even perplexing at times, but in a good way. The soundtrack is original and supports the scenes brilliantly. The film is centered around a play (an adaptation of Raymond Carvers short story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love", if you haven't read this: it is great). The cinematography couldn't be more spot one to refer to the fact that it is about theater. The magical realism might not be for everyone, and I am usually not a big fan, though in this film it gives the main character just the edge that it needs and it expresses his psyche well.

In this film, all elements work together to create a turbulent, wild story that is both highly entertaining and arty: it is exiting; it is sincere; it is intelligent and amusing. It might make your brain hurt a little.


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