7.8/10
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1,100 user 588 critic

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

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Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor's struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown.
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433 ( 56)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 182 wins & 264 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sam
Kenny Chin ...
Jamahl Garrison-Lowe ...
Stagehand (Daniel)
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Ralph
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Costume Assistant
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Gabriel
Keenan Shimizu ...
Han
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Translator
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Annie
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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 | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Birdman  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$424,397 (USA) (17 October 2014)

Gross:

$42,335,698 (USA) (10 April 2015)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was the final film the critic team of Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton reviewed in their 28 year run; they both gave it 5/5 stars. See more »

Goofs

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. 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.
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Connections

Featured in The 87th Annual Academy Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Birdman Blind Melody
Composed by Joan Valent
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Life Imitating Art or Art Imitating Life…Can Anyone Tell the Difference? …Does It Really Matter?
21 October 2015 | by (Pasto, Colombia) – See all my reviews

BIRDMAN just keeps coming at you, time and again, from every imaginable angle, until the end credits, about an hour and 50 minutes in. Is it just me .…or are many reviewers reluctant to state the obvious? Michael Keaton as a down on his luck Ex-Superhero, desperately trying to prove his relevance in 2015, to the entire world, to his rather distant family, but, probably most of all, to himself. Oh yeah, and he talks to himself in a rather smooth, but hoarse and gravelly BATMAN…I mean BIRDMAN, Superhero voice, his last on screen portrayal of which was in 1992! (Yes, in BOTH of them) So, just where do we draw the line as to what is fact and what is fiction?

That is one of many recurring themes dealt with in BIRDMAN. I think it is the central one in the film….Just where and when do we draw those critical dividing lines? Riggan Thompson is feeling the rapidly escalating pressure of a quickly approaching Broadway opening. It is a dilemma of his own device. His life is in shambles. He finds himself still pining for his ex, while attempting, rather ineptly and intermittently, to bond with his daughter. He has taken on overpowering debt to finance his Broadway play that, if successful, will provide him with the self-vindication he needs to put his life and career back on track. His problems seem insurmountable, or at least, he has convinced himself that they are!

The ensemble cast performance is deliciously superb. Zach Galifianakis as the steadfastly single-minded lawyer/best friend, who has to employ his myriad of abilities to hold the production together and keep it moving forward. Emma Stone, as Sam, the more often than not neglected as a child daughter, just out of Rehab, who seems to be on the road to stability in her life by serving as the reluctant gofer for her neophyte Broadway director/producer father. Naomi Watts, as Lesley, one of the play's stars, perhaps the star struck little girl trapped in the 30 something body of a struggling actor who is on the verge of her lifelong Broadway wish- fulfillment debut! Edward Norton delivers an Oscar-caliber performance as the obsessed Method actor who's only real moments are the ones he spends on stage. And of course, Michael Keaton, in the title role, projecting a gigantic on screen presence as a man possessed, obsessed, intensely flawed, human and, ultimately, somewhat skewed by his own inner demons! Makes you wonder…Exactly where does Michael Keaton end and Riggan Thompson begin?

I would be derelict in my reviewer duties were I not to mention the effective and original use of the continuous, one-take technique employed in making BIRDMAN…It lends an extreme presence, intensity and intimacy to the overall quality and tone of the film which is quite unique. I'm sure the implementation of this style presented director Alejandro González Iñárritu with a formidable series of challenges, which he dealt with flawlessly. Gonzalez has directed some previously highly recognized films, such as Amorres Perros, 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful. This highly thought provoking film guarantees that we will be seeing more of his work in the future. 10 Stars...

ENJOY!/DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!


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