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George Clooney to open Venice with “The Ides of March”

By Sean O’Connell George Clooney’s anticipated political drama, with an awards-worthy cast and a relevant ripped-from-the-headlines plotline, has been named opening night films for the Venice Film Festival.

And just like that, the awards race, which might have launched a few gentle bows over the past few months, officially is underway.

Deadline broke the news that Venice scheduled Clooney’s “The Ides of March” for an Aug. 31 screening.

An adaptation of Beau Willimon’s “Farragut North,” the film features a presidential candidate (Clooney) hitting the campaign trail with top advisors Ryan Gosling and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The film, which co-stars Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, centers on the Ohio primary, and reportedly benefits from the recent Anthony Weiner scandal regarding “sexting.”

Clooney’s a tremendous director, and his cast is spectacular. I can’t wait to see if this is an Oscar player, like Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” or just a riveting political ride like the ‘70s dramas Clooney adores.

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