The final 49th New York Film Festival choices have been announced, and the big news is the selection of Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants (which boasts a very well-written script) for the closing night gala. So that’s it for poor Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy despite Gary Oldman‘s willingness to attend the gala. Whatever, water under the bridge. I’m also glad that several major Toronto Film Festival entries have been included as it’ll take the strain off. Several Cannes and Berlin entries also buck up the slate.

George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.

Also to be shown at NYFF: (a) Abel Ferrara‘s Mel…sorry, 4:44: Last Day on Earth, a sex-and-art “apocalyptic trance” movie; (b) George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Martin Scorsese‘s 208-minute doc on the late Beatle, singer-songwriter, filmmaker, etc.; (c) Michel Hazanavicius‘s The Artist, the black-and-white silent about Hollywood moviemaking in the late 1920s; (d) Joseph Cedar‘s Footnote; (e) Mia Hansen-Love‘s Goodbye First Love; (f) Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne‘s decidedly minor The Kid With A Bike; (g) Aki Kaurismaki‘s Le Havre (which I missed in Cannes due to over-sleeping and then being shut out of a Salle du Soixentieme screening); (h) Lars von Trier‘s 4:44…I’m sorry, Melancholia; (i) Gerardo Naranjo‘s Miss Bala; (j) Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia; (k) Wim Wenders‘ 3D Pina; (l) Ruben Ostlund‘s Play; (m) Nadav Lapid‘s Policeman; (n) Steve McQueen‘s Shame; (o) Asghar Farhadi‘s A Separation; Jafar Panahi‘s This is Not A Film; and Bela Tarr and Agnes Hranitzky‘s The Turin Horse.

This in addition to the already announced Carnage, A Dangerous Method, My Week With Marilyn and the resored 2.76 to 1 Ben-Hur. This is going to be an exceptionally strong festival. Excellent job and a tip of the hat to Scott Foundas, Richard Pena, Todd McCarthy and the gang.