By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 29, 2011 at 8:05AM
Now we know what the 49th New York Film Festival opener on September 30 will be: Roman Polanski's Carnage. It's an odd choice, because needless to say, the director himself will not be able to attend, given his status as an exile. (That's what satellite feeds are for.) Based on Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony-Award-winning Broadway play God of Carnage, the movie stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as two couples battling over their children, who had a fight on a playground, and the health of their respective marriages. (More photos here.)
Sony Pictures Classics acquired the film last April soon after it wrapped shooting in Paris, substituting for Brooklyn. SPC screened the film for the New York Film Festival committee as soon as Polanski released a print; the fest called SPC to invite the film at 8 PM Wednesday. Telluride and Toronto did not see the film and are not happy about it, as they now will not be able to show it. The movie will have its world premiere in Venice and North American premiere at New York. Sony plans to open the film in December.
SPC co-president Michael Barker is delighted that Polanski comes full circle, as the very first NYFF's 1963 booking of Knife in the Water marked the Polish filmmaker's emergence on the international stage.
The selection committee chaired by Richard Peña includes critic Melissa Anderson, Film Society associate program director Scott Foundas; Dennis Lim, editor Moving Image Source; and Todd McCarthy, chief film critic, The Hollywood Reporter.
General Public tickets will be available September 12th.