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Edward Norton’s ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ to Close New York Film Festival

Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn” has nabbed the closing night slot at this year’s New York Film Festival.

The adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling novel is a fitting choice to cap the fall festival given its setting. It unfolds in 1950s New York and follows a private detective (Norton) with Tourette syndrome as he becomes entangled in a conspiracy involving a Robert Moses–like master builder (Alec Baldwin). Norton changed the book’s time frame — the novel takes place in the present day. In addition to Norton and Baldwin, the cast includes Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Mann, and Cherry Jones. The film will screen at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, October 11, 2019 and will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures later this year. Norton wrote and directed the film along with starring in the picture.

“To have this particular film — which grew out of my love affair with New York — selected for closing night is just a huge thrill…a dream come true, actually,” Norton said in a statement.

Motherless Brooklyn” is one of several awards hopefuls that Warner Bros. will field this year. The studio is also planning to push its adaptation of Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” the Michael Jordan drama “Just Mercy,” and even “The Joker,” its gritty comic book film, into Oscar contention.

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“Edward Norton has taken Jonathan Lethem’s novel as a jumping-off point to craft a wildly imaginative and extravagant love letter to New York, a beautifully told semi-musical hard-boiled yarn grounded in the mid-20th century history of the city,” said New York Film Festival director and Selection Committee chair Kent Jones in a statement. “What a way to close the festival!”

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival will open with Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” Earlier this week, it announced that its centerpiece selection will be Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.”

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