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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.

Director:

(as Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

Writers:

(as Alejandro G. Iñárritu), | 3 more credits »
Popularity
652 ( 27)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 189 wins & 271 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sam
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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

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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$42,335,698 (USA) (10 April 2015)
 »

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

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

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Life & Death (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 5 Op. 64 in E Minor: Andante Cantabile
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged and performed by Stefano Seghedoni
Courtesy of Chicago Music Library, LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sweeping cinematography mixed with brilliant performances makes Birdman one of the very best of the year.
16 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Birdman is a brilliant, mind blowing experience that is filled with grand performances, Hitchcock-esque camera movements and a brilliant way of storytelling. Above all, Birdman's all star cast featuring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Zach Galifinakis propel this film to greatness, telling the story of a has been actor, Riggan, who was once known for a comic book franchise from yesteryear as he struggles to regain the stardom he once had through an off Broadway play. This proves to be harder and harder for Riggan as he deals with the disappointments of his own life while dealing with the difficulties of making this play his ticket back to stardom. This film serves as a somewhat personal film to Michael Keaton, giving the mere fact that he was known for playing Batman, a comic book hero eerily similar to Birdman. Keaton is an actor that proved time and time again that he can play virtually anything from heavy and hard hitting dramatic roles to silly and funny comedic roles as well. In Birdman, he strikes a perfect balance between the two and turns in the best performance of his entire career. He is firing on all cylinders and truly rises to perfection especially in scenes with an equally great Edward Norton. Another highlight of Birdman is the cinematography. First off, WOW. This film has some of the best cinematography I have seen in quite some time. Focusing on extremely long and spiraling takes, it submerses you in the scene, giving you the type of voyeuristic experience that Birdman calls for. We very much follow these actors as if we're watching a documentary on LSD. The camera movements are slow and bouncy, the tracking shots are nothing short of amazing and it gives an overall, dream like experience when watching this film, something that really benefits the film towards the latter half of it. I fully expect the film's Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki to score a Best Cinematography nomination come Oscar time. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has given us some new age classic films such as Babel, Biutiful, and 21 Grams. Birdman is no exception and, to be honest, this very well may be his masterpiece. He directs his actors with grace and never lets them miss a beat and with some extreme long takes throughout the film, it shows just how good of a director he is and just how good his actors can be, especially Michael Keaton. Overall, I could go on and on about this film and just how great it is but nothing of what I say here can really do Birdman justice. It is a film that you need to experience for yourself. With that being said, Birdman features amazing performances including a jaw dropping turn from Michael Keaton, along with some of the best cinematography I've seen in years. If there is one film to see during the Awards season, it is Birdman.


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