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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
716 ( 168)
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

Alejandro G. Iñárritu received the 2015 Oscar for Best Feature from Sean Penn, who worked for Iñárritu in 21 Grams (2003), alongside Naomi Watts, another "Birdman" actress. Iñárritu revealed during a promotional interview in 2003, that he received a phone call from Penn (before filming 21 Grams (2003)) asking for the project, and was strongly interested about working for Iñárritu. See more »

Goofs

The drum set shown in the film has fewer pieces than the one that is heard. The film set has no floor tom; only snare, bass and high tom. It also has fewer cymbals; with only a hi-hat and ride cymbal, the recorded kit has at least three more (splash, crash and china cymbals). The scene where the drums are played in the green room matches perfectly, as none of the excluded pieces are played in the audio, until Riggan passes by. As the drums are seen being played behind him, they are clearly mismatched with the audio, and pieces like the floor tom are played without being shown. 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 »


Soundtracks

Passacaille (Très large) [Piano Trio in A Minor]
Composed by Maurice Ravel
Performed by Beaux Arts Trio
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful mess...
9 February 2015 | by supercygnusSee all my reviews

It's chaotic and loses focus now and again, but it is ambitious with some of the best acting you will see in any movie this year. It is witty and self aware and there are many who simply won't "get it". If your tastes lean more to the obvious or straight forward, this is not the movie for you. If you like imaginative, challenging, and visually stunning films that deal with ego, passion, love, weakness, insecurity and redemption, this is worth your time.

Unfortunately some subplots are completely forgotten and character arcs begun but not finished, but there is so much rewarding here to be found these are mostly forgiven shortcomings. The editing and scene structure plays like a stream of consciousness, but the consciousness of a very neurotic person. And while there are several standout performances in a uniformly excellent cast, Keaton is the the focus and he is amazing. He runs the gauntlet of neurosis and desperation and pulls it off with an amazing balancing act between insanity and relatability. Perhaps not the best film of the year, but a very memorable one.


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