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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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719 ( 57)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 192 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 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

Was shot in two months, including rehearsals. See more »

Goofs

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. 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 »


Soundtracks

Passacaille (Très large) [Piano Trio in A Minor]
Composed by Maurice Ravel
Performed by Beaux Arts Trio
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Definition of a Masterpiece
5 November 2014 | by andersminor22See all my reviews

I don't know how to start a movie review off, seeing as I've never written one. I feel my meager rating out-of-ten is enough information to tell those interested what I think of a particular movie. Birdman, however, is the exception.

I understand I'm an absolute stranger. Who gives a damn about what I have to think? My only hope is that after reading one fan's fanatic praise for Birdman, you will go and see it. In the interest of not over-hyping this movie (which many will feel I'm about to do), I will say it's nothing short of utterly amazing. Every aspect of the film is masterfully crafted and executed. Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography only exemplifies this. The brilliant choice of always having the camera rolling lets the viewer see what happens before and after any given event. This added information creates a realism unknown to nearly every other movie ever made. What better way to capture the raw emotion and awkward stumbling of an angry outburst at your father than to show the immediate reaction of the ranter following her outburst; you get to see the anger slowly fade from her face as the reality of what she said sets in. Details like this are so often lost and these often- lost, immersive subtleties are what make Birdman the gargantuan triumph it is. Not to mention some of the transitions and dolly shots are just damn impressive.

Even though many movies are yet to come out this pre-Oscar season, I feel it is safe to say no other casting ensemble will come close to the performances given in Birdman. Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Ed Norton, Amy Ryan, and every single other actor in the production execute their roles with professionalism that most movies are lucky to see in just one of their actors. Each actor didn't wait for their time to shine to pull out the big guns; every moment of screen time was utilized to its full potential. There isn't a second where the audience's immersion is broken by an awkwardly delivered line or a slightly out-of-place facial expressions or emotion.

The only criticism I have about the film is that more aren't like it. A smart, satirical movie that is capable of criticizing without being hypocritical is unfortunately rare. However, it's rather nice to have movies like this stand out from the crowd instead of being the norm, because the relative quality only makes them that much better.

So, in short, I implore you. I beg you. If you step into a movie theater once this year, let it be to watch this film. It deserves your attention.


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