Isabel Coixet's 'Nobody Wants the Night' to Open Berlin Film Festival

Nobody Wants the Night Still 2015
Leandro Betancor

The period drama, set in 1908, stars Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne and Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi

Nobody Wants the Night, a period drama by Spanish director Isabel Coixet featuring Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche, will open the 65th Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 5 in its world premiere.

The film marks the seventh time one of Coixet's movies will appear in Berlin's official lineup. She has twice had films in competition in Berlin: in 2003 with My Life Without Me and in 2008 with Elegy. The Spanish filmmaker, whose Learning to Drive screened in Toronto as a special presentation in 2014, was also a member of the Berlin festival's international jury in 2009.

Nobody Wants the Night is an adventure film set in Greenland in 1908. Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) co-stars alongside Binoche and Irish actor Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects).

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“I'm very pleased that Nobody Wants the Night will open the 2015 Berlinale," said festival director Dieter Kosslick. "Isabel Coixet has created an impressive and perceptive portrait of two women in extreme circumstances."

Nobody Wants the Night will screen in competition, putting the film in the running for Berlin's Golden and Silver Bears. It's a move that last year's opener, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, used to great effect, going on to win the grand jury prize and kick off a successful theatrical and awards run, most recently picking up four Golden Globe nominations and an astounding 11 BAFTA noms.

The announcement of the opening-night film on Jan. 9 comes late for Berlin, less than a month before the festival starts. Typically, Berlin's opening-night movie is announced months earlier. But it looks like things are going down to the wire at this year's Berlinale.

The competition lineup, which includes the world premieres of Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups, 45 Years from Brit director Andrew Haigh, Peter Greenaway's Eisenstein in Guanajuato and As We Were Dreaming from acclaimed German director Andreas Dresen, is still only half complete. Berlin is expected to announce the remaining competition titles in the coming weeks.

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Berlin is also expected to soon announce the members of this year's competition jury, which will be headed up by Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky.

In addition to the competition, Berlin will likely also pile on a few more star-driven red-carpet events. So far the celebrity quota looks a bit thin, though Kenneth Branagh's live-action Cinderella, featuring Lily James, Stellan Skarsgard and Helena Bonham Carter, and the international premiere of hotly anticipated erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey, featuring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, should keep the Berlin paparazzi busy.

The 65th Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb.5-15.

Twitter: @sroxborough