July 21, 2014 10:00am PT by Scott Feinberg
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 'Birdman' to Close New York Film Festival (Exclusive)
Birdman, a dramedy co-written and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, will be the closing night film at the 52nd New York Film Festival on Oct. 11, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The film, which is being distributed by Fox Searchlight and will be released theatrically Oct. 17, will have its world premiere on the opening night of the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 27. It stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up movie star trying to revive his career on Broadway. The cast also includes Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifianakis, Emmy winner Merritt Wever, and Oscar nominees Edward Norton, Amy Ryan and Naomi Watts. And the movie was lensed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity), reportedly in a way that gives the appearance that the entire film is one continuous shot.
The NYFF previously announced that its other two marquee nights during the 2014 fest, which runs Oct. 26-Nov. 12, will also showcase highly anticipated, presumptive awards contenders: Its opening night screening, on Sept. 26, will be 20th Century Fox's Gone Girl, directed by David Fincher, and its centerpiece screening, on Oct. 4, will be Warner Bros.' Inherent Vice, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
An Inarritu film closed the NYFF once before: 21 Grams screened in that slot in 2003. (The director's first trip to the fest, though, was in 2000, with Amores Perros.)
Last year's NYFF closing night film, Spike Jonze's Her, went on to score five Oscar nominations, including best picture, and won best original screenplay. Earlier NYFF closing night selections that also went on to score best picture Oscar noms include Jane Campion's The Piano (1993), Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and Alexander Payne's Sideways (2004) and The Descendants (2011).