David Fincher's Gone Girl has long been expected to be a factor into the 2014 Oscar race, but it just got another big boost of confidence: it will open this year's New York Film Festival. Variety reported yesterday evening that the adaptation of Gillian Flynn's dark and twisty novel starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike will be the selection for the gala on September 26. 

NYFF opening night films don't have the best track record of winning Best Picture, but in recent years they have tended to be major factors in the awards race. Last year Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips, which ended up garnering six nominations, opened the festival. In 2012 Life of Pi, for which Ang Lee ended up winning Best Director, got the ball rolling. Fincher last had a film as the opening night selection in 2010 with The Social NetworkThe Social Network won three Oscars and was nominated for five more. 

In other film festival news, which is ramping up as we come closer to the fall movie season, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, will open the Venice Film Festival. Alfonso Cuarón's awards heavyweight Gravity opened that fest last year.