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Oscars 2015: 'Birdman,' the best picture winner, from A to Z

The Oscars love movies about show business, or so the conventional Hollywood wisdom goes, and the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony Sunday was no exception. "Birdman" -- starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up movie superhero who seeks redemption on the Broadway stage, alongside Emma Stone, Edward Norton et al -- took home four prizes, including the award for best picture. But it was also the second-lowest-grossing film in the last 40 years to win the top Oscar.

How much do you really know about the film? Here are key Times interviews, profiles and our review of "Birdman," from A to Z (that's from director Alejandro G. Iñárritu to costar Zach Galifianakis, if you're the literal type).


Michael Keaton in a scene from the movie "Birdman." (Fox Searchlight)

The Oscars: 'Birdman' is best

"Birdman" soared at the Oscars. It won for best film, best director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu, cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki, and original screenplay for Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo.

'Birdman' named best picture

Alejandro G. Iñárritu wins for best director

'Birdman' quartet wins for original screenplay


Birdman" director Alejandro G. Iñárritu. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The director: Reel regal

Alejandro G. Iñárritu was at a creative crossroads several years ago when he decided to make "Birdman," a story of a man on a similar journey.

Iñárritu takes his doubts and lets them fly

Success of 'Birdman' signals Iñárritu's arrival as film royalty

Iñárritu celebrates a big, and bilingual, win for 'Birdman'

What's next for Iñárritu


Michael Keaton. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The actor: 'A once-in-a-lifetime kind of role'

"You spend your whole career waiting for your pitch, hoping you'll be ready when it comes because you don't get something like this again," said Michael Keaton in an interview with The Times.

Michael Keaton on 'Birdman': 'You don't get something like this again'

Keaton and Iñárritu discuss 'Birdman'

Michael Keaton: Career in pictures


Actress Emma Stone in New York. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The actress: 'This year has been mind-boggling'

Emma Stone sees her career thrive as Sam, the tightly wound, embittered daughter in "Birdman" -- and as Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of "Cabaret."

Emma Stone soars with 'Cabaret' and 'Birdman'

Emma Stone: Career in pictures


Michael Keaton in "Birdman." (Atsushi Nishijima/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

The review: Irony lurks in every shadow

As a latter-day celluloid superhero come to Broadway's proving ground for a rebirth, Michael Keaton's Burning Man histrionics on stage and off are hysterically on point, Times film critic Betsy Sharkey writes.

Review: 'Birdman,' feathered and unfettered


Emmanuel Lubezki celebrates with Oscar. (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)

The cinematographer: Lubezki aimed high

Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is known for his long takes and bold innovation, but capturing an entire backstage comedy with the illusion of one unbroken shot? Working on "Birdman" with director Iñárritu was a new experiment.

Cinematographer 'Chivo': 'I didn't know if it was working or not'


Michael Keaton and Emma Stone in "Birdman." (Alison Rosa / Fox Searchlight Pictures)

The long shot: 'Birdman' creators on rehearsing the labyrinth-like film

Watch the creators of "Birdman" discuss the film's unique rehearsal process.

Video: It had to be 'precision perfect,' says Michael Keaton.


Antonio Sanchez says "Birdman's" use of his drumming instead of classical film music "sounds crazy in theory ... but it works." (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The music: Behind the film's percussive score

As a musician used to working on the fringes of popular culture, Antonio Sanchez never anticipated that his skills as an improvisational jazz drummer would lead to Hollywood.

Sanchez: 'It forces you to pay attention to the music.'


Michael Keaton with his Golden Globe Award for performance by an actor in a comedy or musical. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

The accolades: Pre-Oscars build-up

With wins from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild, Producers Guild, Art Directors Guild and more, "Birdman" gains Oscar momentum.

SAG Awards 2015: 'Birdman' feathers its nest

Golden Globes 2015: Keaton chokes up with thanks

Zach Galifianakis, is that you? Actor changes look at SAG Awards

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