Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), or simply Birdman, is a 2014 American black comedy-drama film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. It was written by Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bó. The film stars Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson, a faded Hollywood actor best known for playing the superhero "Birdman", as he struggles to mount a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver's short story, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". The film also features a supporting cast of Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts.
The film covers the period of previews leading to the play's opening, and with a brief exception appears as if filmed in a single shot, an idea Iñárritu had from the film's conception. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki believed that the recording time necessary for the long take approach taken in Birdman could not have been made with older technology. The film was shot in New York City during the spring of 2013 with a budget of $16.5 million jointly financed by Fox Searchlight Pictures, Regency Enterprises and Worldview Entertainment. It premiered the following year in August where it opened the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
Birdman had a limited theatrical release in the United States on October 17, 2014, followed by a wide release on November 14. Grossing more than $103 million worldwide, the film received widespread critical acclaim, with praise towards its screenplay, direction, cinematography, and the performances of the cast (particularly Keaton, Norton, and Stone). Birdman won the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography from a total of nine nominations, tying it with The Grand Budapest Hotel for the most nominated and awarded film at the 87th Academy Awards. It also won Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Keaton and Best Screenplay at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.