7.7/10
583,352
1,432 user 630 critic

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

Trailer
2:53 | Trailer
A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.
Popularity
884 ( 19)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 189 wins & 290 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 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fittingly, given this movie's setting and subject matter, many of the secondary roles or bit parts are played by people who, in their real lives, have accomplished Broadway careers. Jeremy Shamos (Ralph, who Riggan thinks is a terrible actor) was in seven Broadway shows between 2004 and 2016, and was nominated for a Tony in 2012. William Youmans (Bartender Tommy) was in the Broadway casts of Wicked, Big River, Finian's Rainbow, and Bright Star, among many other shows (and he is also a relative of the great Broadway Composer Vincent Youmans, who was name-checked in Cole Porter's classic song "You're the Top"). Lindsay Duncan (Tabitha, the jaded critic) has been in four Broadway plays, including the production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses that first introduced Alan Rickman to American audiences. Donna Lynne Champlin (Broadway Lady) has performed in such Broadway musicals as Sweeney Todd, Billy Elliot, and By Jeeves. Roberta Colindrez (Broadway Woman on Street) played Joan in the original Broadway cast of Fun Home. Jackie Hoffman (Lady on Balcony (Mary)) has appeared in such Broadway musicals as On the Town, The Addams Family, Xanadu, and Hairspray. Bill Camp (Crazy Man) has been in seven Broadway plays between 1993 and 2016; his role in this movie consists of ranting a soliloquy from Macbeth, and Camp himself played Macbeth in a 1999 off-Broadway production at the Theatre for a New Audience in New York. Michael Siberry (Larry) has appeared in eight Broadway plays and musicals from 1986 on, including leads in productions of The Sound of Music, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and Spamalot. Stephen Adly Guirgis (Good Neighbor) is an accomplished playwright whose plays include Jesus Hopped the A Train, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Motherfucker with the Hat, and Between Riverside and Crazy (winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama). See more »

Goofs

When Jake enters Riggan's room in the hospital he turns on the TV. After he leaves, the TV is off. 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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Crazy Credits

Begin and end credits are presented in a peculiar style with the rhythm of the drums See more »

Alternate Versions

Sundance TV recently released an edited version which removes the swearing and crops the scene featuring Edward Norton's butt so it is not shown. See more »


Soundtracks

Symphony No. 4 in F minor Op. 36.2 in Andantino in Modo Di Canzone
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by RSO Ljubijana Anton Nanut
Courtesy of The Savoy Label Group/Selectracks
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User Reviews

 
Alejandro is the Real Deal
2 March 2015 | by frank_gonzalezrivasSee all my reviews

This movie really touch my soul in very different ways, I was laughing and crying at the same time when I was watching it. Alejandro's clean smooth directing really states a new canon in the way a movie is conducted, I was blown away with Michael Keaton's perfect performance and the rest of the cast did well around him. I had never seen this kind of genre called "Magical realism" as well as in this movie, it really submerge you inside the head of the main character and the brilliant drum-based score helps to explain the situation by the minute. I am very happy with the Oscars won by Alejandro (well deserved) especially because I am Mexican too. I know that this kind of movie is not for everyone, some people said that it is boring, pretentious, over-the- top, strange, difficult to understand, hideous. But let me tell you this movie is fascinating, touching, funny, sad, eloquent, fantastic and dramatic. I liked very much how it makes fun of big-budget summer-blockbusters hero-movies which easily Alejandro will have done if he had wanted but no, he preferred an artistic low budget movie that make you feel instead of make you eat popcorn.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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