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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
694 ( 137)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 192 wins & 285 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Keaton ... Riggan
Emma Stone ... Sam
Kenny Chin 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. 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

After Regan gets locked out of the theatre (probably at the back), it doesn't make sense to have Times Square on your route back to the main entrance. 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 »

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 zooms in the scene it shows Edward Norton's butt so it is not shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode dated 17 December 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Birdman Blind Melody
Composed by Joan Valent
See more »

User Reviews

 
Amazing! Turbulent, wild, funny, sincere.
29 January 2015 | by snoeren5See all my reviews

This is an amazing film! Great acting and strong story, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Some scenes had me laugh out loud. The film can get a little confusing or even perplexing at times, but in a good way. The soundtrack is original and supports the scenes brilliantly. The film is centered around a play (an adaptation of Raymond Carvers short story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love", if you haven't read this: it is great). The cinematography couldn't be more spot one to refer to the fact that it is about theater. The magical realism might not be for everyone, and I am usually not a big fan, though in this film it gives the main character just the edge that it needs and it expresses his psyche well.

In this film, all elements work together to create a turbulent, wild story that is both highly entertaining and arty: it is exiting; it is sincere; it is intelligent and amusing. It might make your brain hurt a little.


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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

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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