The Berlin International Film Festival announced early Friday morning that “Nobody Wants the Night,” the most recent work by Spanish director Isabel Coixet, will open the festival as well as play in the international competition. Previous fest kick-offs included “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Grandmaster.” We”re sure “Nobody Wants the Night” is quite grand in its own right, even if it doesn”t flaunt it in the title.
Based on true events, “Nobody Wants the Night” follows Josephine Peary (Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche), a “mature, proud, determined and naive woman” living in Greenland circa 1909 and in love with celebrated Arctic adventurer Robert Peary (Gabriel Byrne), “a man who prefers glory and ice to the comforts of an upper-class home.” Another woman, the “young but wise, brave and humble” Allaka (Academy Award-nominated Rinko Kikuchi), is in love with the same man… and pregnant with his child. As Coixet”s own summary of the film explains, “the relentless icy landscape both separates and draws these two women together during the long, tense wait for the man they both love in such different ways.”
Filming took place in Bulgaria, Norway and Spain. A behind-the-scenes video hidden in the depths of YouTube reveals a snowy on-location shoot, some elaborate sets, and the cast and Coixet in action:
“I”m very pleased that Nobody Wants the Night will open the 2015 Berlinale,” Dieter Kosslick, director of the Berlinale, said in a statement. “Isabel Coixet has created an impressive and perceptive portrait of two women in extreme circumstances. It will also be the first film to be screened in Dolby Atmos in our Berlinale Palast.”
Coixet is a Berlin Film Festival veteran, with six of her films nabbing real estate in various sections of past programmes. Past Berlinale work includes “My Life Without Me” (2003) and “Elegy” (2008) in Competition. Coixet was also a member of the festival”s International Jury in 2009. The director has been in head-down machine mode as of late: Coixet”s film “Learning to Drive” premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, while her psychological thriller “Another Me” played in competition at the 2013 Rome Film Festival.
Binoche also arrives with past Berlinale cred. In 1993, she earned the festival”s honorary Berlinale Camera award. In 1997, “The English Patient” won the Silver Berlin Bear at the fest. Her other Berlinale entires include John Boorman's “In My Country,” “Chocolat,” and “Camille Claudel 1915”
The 65th Berlinale will run from Feb. 5-15, 2015.