Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, will be the opening film of the 71st Annual Venice Film Festival. This move obviously conveys a high amount of confidence in the film not only on the part of the Fest, but on behalf of distributor Fox Searchlight as well. So far everything bodes well for what looks to be a truly original work.
Hit the jump for more on Birdman opening the Venice Film Festival. The film also stars Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan. Birdman (aka The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens October 17th. And if you haven’t checked out the trailer, please do so. It’s wonderful. I’m not an awards prognosticator, but it’s a decent sign that we’ll be seeing a lot about this movie when awards season hits. Recent openers have included Black Swan, The Master, Gravity and The Ides of March (so yeah that one fizzled in terms of awards but we’re talking about positioning and intent here, not crystal balls). Regardless of statues and whether this film wins any or doesn’t, I’m excited to see such an original movie that looks so resolutely entertaining. It’s also nice to see Keaton back in the saddle. I know he’s always “been around” (he was fantastic in his supporting role in The Other Guys), but to see him be a marquee player again warms my heart a bit. Its bow at the fest will be on August 27th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Birdman:
BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.