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

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A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.
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307 ( 76)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 191 wins & 275 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, 17 October 2014, Limited Release

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

When Riggan first walks out into Times Square, a billboard for American Eagle Outfitters appears over his shoulder. The company's headquarters are located in Michael Keaton's hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. See more »

Goofs

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. 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

Featured in Half in the Bag: Inherent Vice and Oscar Buzz (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

BB Drum Beats
Composed by Brian Blade
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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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