Ryan Gosling is heading to another major film festival this year. The "Blue Valentine" star has made Sundance and Cannes frequent stops over the past 18 months and now it appears he'll be heading to another annual cinefile event in Venice. It hasn't been officially announced, but according to reports, the cat is out of the bag and George Clooney's "The Ides of March" will be the opening night at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. The festival begins on Aug. 31.
"March" is based on Beau Willimon's play "Farragut North" and finds Clooney playing a governor looking to find a more presidential office in a scenario loosely based on the campaign of Howard Dean. Gosling plays his press spokesman and Paul Giamatti is a rival campaign manager.
It's unclear how good Gosling is in "March," but he certainly merits awards consideration as well for his subtly strong performance in Nicolas Wending Refin's "Drive" which played at Cannes and opens nationwide on Sept. 16.
Venice is almost a second home for Clooney. He won a slew of awards for "Good Night, and Good Luck." at the festival in 2005 and premiered "Michael Clayton" in 2007, "Burn After Reading" in 2008 and "The Men Who Stare At Goats" in 2009. Oh yeah, and "Intolerable Cruelty" in 2003. Clooney also stars in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," another expected awards season player, which may debut at the Venice, Toronto, Telluride or New York Film Festival.
Obviously, both men have a busy fall ahead of them.
Darren Aronofsky, who won the festival's Golden Lion in 2008 for "The Wrestler," has already been tapped as the head of this year's jury.