Festival Circuit Heats Up As Mira Nair’s Reluctant Fundamentalist Announced As Venice Opener; The Master Hitting Fantastic Fest?

While we’ve been accosted with blockbuster after blockbuster the past few months, the late year festival circuit is truly getting into the swing of things, and this weekend revealed that it may be one of the biggest yet.

First up, Venice has revealed (hat tip to The Playlist) that Mira Nair’s upcoming film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist has nabbed the opening slot for this year’s festival. The film stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Live Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Martin Donovan, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Haluk Bilginer and Meesha Shafi, and tells the story of a professor who has his life altered by the events of September 11, 2001.

Names like Terrence Malick and Brian De Palma have been bantered about in the same breath as this festival and this year’s festival circuit, making this what could very well be one of the biggest and best in years. Obviously a huge fan of Nair’s work, this is easily one of my most anticipated features, and sounds like something that could definitely be a player come the late year awards circuit.

However, no film may be as anticipated as Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The director’s follow-up to There Will Be Blood, composer Jonny Greenwood posted a picture of he and his director outside of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, along with founder of the joint Tim League, discussing how to ‘best present the film.’ With Blood having the honor of debuting at Fantastic Fest in ’07, could a similar fate be in the future for Anderson’s latest picture? The film is in the can, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. One can only hope.

Joshua Brunsting

Josh is a critic, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, a wrestling nerd, a hip-hop head, a father, a cinephile and a man looking to make his stamp on the world, one word at a time.

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