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

Goofs

Jump to: Audio/visual unsynchronised (1)  | Character error (2)  | Continuity (8)  | Crew or equipment visible (3)  | Errors in geography (2)  | Factual errors (2)  | Miscellaneous (2)  | Plot holes (3)  | Spoilers (2)

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

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.
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Character error 

When Riggan's girlfriend brings him the newspaper and tells him to look at the review on page 12, there's a full page of ads on the left-hand page and he reads the review on the right hand page. In most newspapers, page 12, an even-numbered page, would be a left-hand page.
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Sam tells Riggan that the Earth is 6,000,000,000 years old, but the standard scientific estimate is only 4,500,000,000 years.
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Continuity 

When Jake enters Riggan's room in the hospital he turns on the TV. After he leaves, the TV is off.
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When Riggan walks to the set for the last time, one of the buttons on his blouse is open. When a man passes by, so you can't see Riggan for a second, the button is closed.
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After the flying scene, Riggan enters the theater for the opening night and is followed by an angry man. Then, just before the camera starts to pull back, the angle changes. It's noticeable on the theater placards.
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When Riggan is seen on stage during his first preview, he is shown without a wedding ring. However, a ring appears on his finger by the time he arrives in his dressing room.
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When Riggan leaves his dressing room in the first scene, the rod by the window has two plastic hangers pushed together to the left of the window. When Riggan returns to the dressing room after the stage light hits Gabriel's head, the two hangers are separated.
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At the end when Riggan goes into the bathroom to remove his bandages, when he comes back out the time of the day is much different than what it was when he went inside. It is much less sunnier than before.
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In the hospital, Riggan keeps the lilacs on top of the newspaper before entering the toilet. He keeps them on the edge of the bed. Later when he flies out of the window and we see Sam come in the lilacs and the newspaper both are a little away from the edge.
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When Riggan leaves for the rehearsal where Ralph is injured, the television isn't on in his dressing room. When he then returns, the television is on.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Riggan goes back to the theater after a drunk night out, right after he's touching ground beneath his feet again, there can a couple be seen walking from the left side of the frame to the right, away from the camera (we can only see them from behind). When Riggan passes the couple the right man can be seen making a very sudden quick (and very unnatural looking) hand-movement in direction to Riggan's back. This movement might have been necessary to detach the cables from Michael Keaton's back that he needed to be attached to for the flying scene.
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As Riggan walks back into the theater in just his underwear, you can clearly see the reflection of the cameraman's legs following him on the ticket stand to Riggan's left.
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After the preview screening when Mike freaks out about his gin really being water, Riggan goes upstairs with Jake and they have a conversation. Afterwards, Riggan walks down the hall and is then greeted by Mike. When Riggan yells "Hey, out in front of the theater in ten minutes!", you can see the rest of the hall behind Riggan. Unfortunately, you can also see the pink piece of tape used for Riggan's mark to stop to talk to Jake.
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Errors in geography 

After Regan gets locked out of the theatre (probably at the back), it doesn't make sense to have Times Square on your route back to the main entrance.
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After the first preview (when Mike was drinking real gin onstage) Riggan and Mike walk out of the St. James Theatre onto 44th street. Riggan gives money to a drummer on the street. The camera swings around, and, apparently still in the same shot, they are now walking towards the Edison Hotel on 47th street. They enter the bar at the Edison Hotel. When Riggan leaves the bar, he is back on 44th street, and walks just a few steps back to the St. James Theatre - closer than when they walked from the theatre to the bar.
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Factual errors 

It is twice stated that the St. James Theatre seats 800 people. In actuality, its capacity is approximately 1,700.
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Mike dares Sam to spit on a bald guy walking below them from the rooftop of the theater. However the sidewalk outside the St. James Theater is a covered sidewalk and neither of them would have been able to see the bald man from the roof, let alone spit on him.
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Miscellaneous 

The note from Sam in the bouquet of flowers changes. At first it is a wide strip of paper and reads "They didn't have the whatever you wanted". A little later the paper is narrower and the "the" is omitted.
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In the very beginning of the movie, Riggan is called on to the stage for rehearsal where he "does" his job and returns to his room and the audience see the TV switched on mysteriously which wasn't the case before.
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Plot holes 

Jake signs Mike to replace Ralph because he is a famous stage actor. Jake tells Riggan that Mike will sell tickets, and credits the previews being sold-out to Mike. Yet Mike is not used to publicize the play, his name is not on the theater marquee or the posters, nor is he recognized when he is out in public.
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When Riggan is walking back to the theater in his underwear, a girl is seen and heard telling him "You look so old in person" and he replies back with "Fuck you" right before he walks into the theater doors, then later when Sam shows him his trending video, neither the girl's comment nor his reply to her are heard.
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When Sam shows him the viral video of himself in Times Square in his underwear, the video is clearly shot from different perspectives (no one person was seen following him the entire time to film him), yet the final video is somehow edited together and has already gotten thousands of hits right after the performance is over. There is no way there would be time for all of this to happen in such a short time.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Lesley walks to her room after the second preview (where Mike tries to rape her), right when Laura appears and a person walks in front of the camera, the blood splatter all over her changes, indicating that a cut was made.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Thomson is loading the semiautomatic pistol in his dressing room before the opening night, he loads an empty shell (just the brass case) into the magazine. He then chambers that empty shell. This may be a foreshadowing of the ending.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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