Jamie Neish: Film festival season is full of promise

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With the summer months slowly creeping to an end, attention has turned to the autumn, particularly the film festival season that follows and which films could be sweeping the Academy Awards come March.

From Venice to London, with Toronto and New York in between, the next three months will see hundreds of awards-friendly titles premiere at cities around the world.

First is Venice, which kicks off tonight with the world premiere of Birdman, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu and starring Michael Keaton (pictured) as a washed-up actor after his days as an iconic superhero.

Other notable films include Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn and an out of competition screening of The Humbling, starting Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig.

Then comes Toronto, which is due to screen The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr, Shawn Levy’s family drama This Is Where I Leave You, featuring Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda; and Jason Reitman’s dark drama Men, Women and Children.

The New York Film Festival’s main lineup may feature a collection of films that will unspool first elsewhere, but it also boasts the premieres of two of the most buzz worthy titles: Gone Girl and Inherent Vice.

Gone Girl, directed by David Fincher, is an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel, while Inherent Vice sees Paul Thomas Anderson return to the screens with a dark comedy crime drama starring Joaquin Phoenix.

Back on British soil, meanwhile, the London Film Festival is due to screen The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, and Fury, A World War II directed by David Ayer.

Whatever the outcome, the film film festival season looks a good one.