7.7/10
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1,423 user 629 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
885 ( 165)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 191 wins & 289 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

Chef Gordon Ramsay can be seen on a large billboard/video screen when Riggan is on the roof, near the end of the movie. Chef Gordon Ramsey's mother in law is a distant relative to director Alejandro G. Iñárritu's family. When director Inarritu was shooting the movie in New York, the crew often went to dine in Chef Gordon Ramsey's restaurant "The London". Ramsey's New York restaurant wasn't a commercial success though, because it had to close shops in 2014. See more »

Goofs

Jake signs Mike to replace Ralph because he is a famous stage actor. Jake tells Riggan that Mike will sell tickets, and credits the previews being sold-out to Mike. Yet Mike is not used to publicize the play, his name is not on the theater marquee or the posters, nor is he recognized when he is out in public. 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 zooms in the scene it shows Edward Norton's butt so it is not shown. See more »

Connections

References Batman (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 9 in D
Written by Gustav Mahler
Performed by Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia w Katowicach (as Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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