By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 10, 2014 at 6:41AM
The big three European festivals are Berlin, Cannes and Venice, and the openers for the first two of those lurched from the sublime to the ridiculous this year: Berlin nabbed Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" to kick off their fest, while Cannes was stuck with the clanging disaster of "Grace Of Monaco." Venice kept their pick under wraps until now, and fortunately, it should be closer Berlin's pick in terms of quality...
The festival have announced that Alejandro G. Inarritu's "Birdman," or to give it its full title, "Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance," will kick off proceedings on August 27th on the Lido. The return of the director of "Babel" and "Biutiful," it toplines Michael Keaton as an actor best known for playing a superhero as he tries to mount a comeback in a Broadway play, and also features Zach Galifianakais, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.
"Birdman" is nominally a dip into lighter territory for director Inarritu, the recent trailer revealed something jet-black and pretty unique, and we've been chomping at the bit to see it. It's also worth noting that this is the second year in a row that Venice has opened with a film featuring extended takes shot by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, after "Gravity" screened on the first night last year.
Will "Birdman" go on to follow the Oscar glory and wild success of that film? Unlike "Gravity," this'll be in competition at the fest, so expectations are certainly high... We'll find out when it opens Venice on August 27th, before it opens in the U.S. on October 17th. Remind yourself of the trailer below.