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

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Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor's struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown.

Director:

(as Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

Writers:

(as Alejandro G. Iñárritu), | 3 more credits »
Popularity
686 ( 34)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 189 wins & 271 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sam
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Stagehand (Daniel)
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Ralph
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Costume Assistant
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Gabriel
Keenan Shimizu ...
Han
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Translator
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Annie
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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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Birdman  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$424,397 (USA) (17 October 2014)

Gross:

$42,335,698 (USA) (10 April 2015)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Alejandro González Iñárritu, he had dinner with director Mike Nichols in New York two weeks before he began shooting the movie. Iñárritu told Nichols of his plan for how he was going to shoot the movie as one long take. Nichols predicted it would be a disaster because not having the ability to use cuts in editing would inhibit the opportunities for comedy. Iñárritu said the meeting didn't deter him, but was instead helpful in raising his awareness level of the difficulty of what he was about to do. 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

Referenced in Half in the Bag: The 2016 Oscars (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Chorus of Exiled Palestinians from The Death of Klinghoffer
Composed by John Adams
Libretto by Alice Goodman
Performed by the Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon, conducted by Kent Nagano;
The London Opera Chorus, Directed by Richard Cooke
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An excellent satire on showbiz
11 January 2015 | by (San Antonio) – See all my reviews

Every once in a while, there comes a movie that really invigorates someone with its performances, story, and direction. Birdman is one of those films that just delivers on all forms to bring a unique experience. While that sounds like over the top praise, I feel like this film will be heralded as a classic as the years fly on by.

Good: I love the story for this film as it encompasses pretty much everything that comes along with being in the entertainment world whether it is Hollywood or Broadway. It talks about the plight former A list actors have with trying to stay relevant, the over saturation of superhero movies and how every major actor seems to be a part of one, the battle between big budget movies against indie films, an actor's need for either credibility or box office draw, and the infiltration of Hollywood into Broadway among many other topics. It balances all of these subjects with grace and it never feels disjointed. Add to that the very meta and excellent performance by Michael Keaton, a hilarious turn from Edward Norton, a career best for Emma Stone, a revelatory one from Zach Galifianakis, and a great supporting cast helps makes the beautiful chaos on screen work. Then there's the direction which is marvelous how the movie seamlessly looks like it was shot in one take. Fantastic editing involved along with beautiful cinematography with some breathtaking shots.

Overall, this is one fantastic dissection of the entertainment industry without feeling pretentious and having a lot of fun doing it.


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