Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), commonly referred to as Birdman, is a 2014 American black comedy-drama film co-written, co-produced, and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It stars Michael Keaton with a supporting cast of Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. The story follows protagonist Riggan Thomson, a faded Hollywood actor famous for his role as superhero Birdman, as he struggles to mount a Broadway adaptation of a short story by Raymond Carver.
Aside from a few shots near the beginning and end, Birdman appears to be filmed in a single shot, an idea the director had since the film's conception. This required an atypical production approach, with many elements of post-production needing to be considered before principal photography. As a result the script took two years to write, the cast went through several weeks of meticulous rehearsals, and during shooting takes were cut for the slightest mishaps. It was filmed in New York City during the spring of 2013 with a budget of $16.5 million, jointly financed by New Regency and Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film premiered the following year in August where it opened the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
Birdman was given a limited theatrical release in the United States on October 17, 2014, followed by a wide release on November 14. The film has grossed more than $86 million worldwide. It garnered critical acclaim, with praise particularly directed to the cast's performances, Iñárritu's direction, editing, screenplay, and cinematography. It is widely considered to be one of the best films of 2014, and has received multiple awards and nominations.
Birdman won the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with Best Director for Iñárritu, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, and also receiving five additional nominations, tying it with The Grand Budapest Hotel for the most awards and nominations at the year's ceremony. It also won the Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards,as well as Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.
- Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor famous for playing the superhero Birdman
- Edward Norton as Mike Shiner, an acclaimed Broadway actor
- Emma Stone as Sam Thomson, Riggan's daughter and assistant
- Naomi Watts as Lesley, an actress and Mike's former girlfriend
- Zach Galifianakis as Jake, Riggan's lawyer and friend
- Andrea Riseborough as Laura, an actress and Riggan's girlfriend
- Amy Ryan as Sylvia Thomson, Riggan's ex-wife, Sam's mother
- Lindsay Duncan as Tabitha Dickinson, a top theatre critic
- Merritt Wever as Annie, the stage manager
- Jeremy Shamos as Ralph
- Frank Ridley as Mr. Roth
- Katherine O'Sullivan as Costume Assistant
- Damian Young as Gabriel
Posters & Trailers
Rotten Tomatoes 93%
Roger Ebert 4/4