UPDATED with more details: Kicking off awards season in earnest, the Venice Film Festival will world premiere movies by such directors as Alexander Payne, Guillermo del Toro, George Clooney, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Schrader and Martin McDonagh. The rundown announced today by fest chief Alberto Barbera was pretty much in line with expectations after Toronto spilled its beans earlier this week and shed light on what looked like shoo-ins for the Lido. Two titles that did not turn up today are the Gary Oldman-starring Darkest Hour and the Annette Bening-led Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool; those look headed to Telluride.
Barbera said today that he was “97% satisfied” with his roster. “There are only maybe two or three films we wanted to see or have and we couldn’t because they will go to other festivals. All the films that we saw and wanted to have are in the lineup.” Venice certainly has to be feeling the heat of its recent successes. Over the past few years, it has opened with or premiered such major Oscar winners and contenders as Gravity, Birdman, Spotlight, La La Land and Hacksaw Ridge.
This year’s 74th edition of the world’s oldest film festival is sparkling with what looks to be another banner crop.
As previously announced, the fest is opening with Payne’s Downsizing, starring Matt Damon. Paramount screened 20 minutes of footage from the sci-fi satire for European exhibitors to fantastic response in Barcelona last month.
Extended footage of del Toro’s The Shape Of Water also wowed in Barcelona. This is the director’s first time ever in Competition on the Lido where his period fairy tale is debuting. A Venice vaporetto will see del Toro follow in the wake of pals Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro G Inarritu whose Gravity and Birdman, respectively, made a big splash on the island.
Barbera today called The Shape Of Water del Toro’s best film in a decade and indeed by accounts, it marks a return to Pan’s Labyrinth territory for the director. The movie stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins.
Other major works include Clooney’s home invasion comedy crime pic Suburbicon, again with Damon, as well as Oscar Isaac and Julianne Moore — and from a Coen brothers script. Aronofsky, who produced last year’s Venice entry Jackie, is bringing Mother!, a horror pic about a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home. Jennifer Lawrence, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer and Javier Bardem star. Those titles are also from Paramount which will have a large presence in Italy.
Bardem is doing double duty on the Lido with Loving Pablo, a drama about Pablo Escobar that also stars Penelope Cruz and Peter Sarsgaard and is running out of competition.
Further high-profile out of competition titles include Stephen Frears’ Victoria & Abdul (Focus) starring Judi Dench; James Toback’s The Private Life Of A Modern Woman with Sienna Miller, Alec Baldwin and Charles Grodin; Brawl In Cell Block 99 directed by S Craig Zahler and starring Vince Vaughn in a return to town following last year’s Hacksaw Ridge; and Michael R Roskam’s La Fidèle (aka Racer And The Jailbird) with Matthias Schoenaerts and Adèle Exarchopoulos.
Back in the competition, Paul Schrader is making his first foray in the section with First Reformed, a drama starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried. The section also welcomes McDonagh for the first time with dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) starring Frances McDormand as an outraged (and foul-mouthed) mother hellbent on getting the police to find her daughter’s killer. This is seen as a potential Oscar performance for McDormand.
A24’s adventure drama Lean On Pete brings Andrew Haigh to the competition with Travis Fimmel, Steve Zahn and Chloë Sevigny starring. And, in a somewhat controversial move, Venice has included Abdellatif Kechiche’s Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno in competition. This is the latest from the Blue Is The Warmest Color helmer who claimed earlier this year that a contractual dispute was keeping the movie from the Cannes Film Festival after he ended up making two films instead of one.
Speaking of Cannes, Venice is including a handful of titles from Netflix this year — although this is not precedent-setting on the Lido where Beasts Of No Nation debuted in 2015 winning a prize for young Abraham Attah. On deck from the streaming service are Our Souls At Night out of competition and two episodes of Suburra, its first Italian series, which will screen in the Cinema nel Giardino.
The out-of-competition documentary strand also has some interesting titles including Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The Story Of Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman And Tony Clifton. The Chris Smith-directed pic will bring Carrey to the Lido while David Batty’s My Generation, a look back at ’60s London, will bring the film’s producer and raconteur, Michael Caine, to town.
Venice runs August 30-September 9. Scroll down for the full list of titles announced today.
PREVIOUS: Venice Film Festival chief Alberto Barbera is unveiling the lineup for the 74th running of the event this morning in Rome. We already know for sure that Alexander Payne’s Downsizing is opening the festivities on August 30 while Netflix pic Our Souls At Night is also set for a screening and tribute to stars Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. Other pics expected to turn up in the main section, particularly after Toronto’s partial announcement earlier this week, include Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water; George Clooney’s Suburbicon; Stephen Frears’ Victoria & Abdul; Darkest Hour starring Gary Oldman; Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!; and Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool which is likely to get an out-of-competition berth given it stars Annette Bening who is jury president this year.
Even with all the speculation that’s been floating around, there are sure to be some surprises among Barbera’s list today for the Lido fest which has become a key launchpad of awards season pics. Titles are being updated below, so keep checking back:
VENICE 74 COMPETITION
Downsizing, dir: Alexander Payne (Opening Night Film)
Human Flow, dir: Ai Weiwei
Mother!, dir: Darren Aronofsky
Suburbicon, dir: George Clooney
The Shape Of Water, dir: Guillermo del Toro
L’Insulte, dir: Ziad Doueiri
La Villa, dir: Robert Guediguian
Lean On Pete, dir: Andrew Haigh
Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, dir: Abdellatif Kechiche
The Third Murder, dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda
*Jusqu’à La Garde, dir: Xavier Legrand
Foxtrot, dir: Samuel Maoz
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; dir: Martin McDonagh
Hannah, dir: Andrea Pallaoro
Ammore E Malavita, dir: Manetti Bros
Angels Wear White, dir: Vivian Qu
Una Famiglia, dir: Sebastiano Riso
First Reformed, dir: Paul Schrader
Sweet Country, dir: Warwick Thornton
The Leisure Seeker, dir: Paolo Virzi
Ex Libris – The New York Public Library, dir: Frederick Wiseman
OUT OF COMPETITION – FICTION
Our Souls At Night, dir: Ritesh Batra
Il Singor Rotpeter, dir: Antonietta De Lillo
Victoria & Abdul, dir: Stephen Frears
La Mélodie, dir: Rachid Hami
Outrage Coda, Takeshi Kitano (Closing Night Film)
Loving Pablo, dir: Fernando Leon De Aranoa
Zama, dir: Lucretia Martel
Wormwood, dir: Errol Morris
Diva!, dir: Francesco Patierno
La Fidèle, dir: Michael R Roskam
Il Colore Nascosto Delle Cose, dir: Silvio soldini
The Private Life Of A Modern Woman, dir: James Toback
Brawl In Cell Block 99, dir: S Craig Zahler
OUT OF COMPETITION – DOCUMENTARIES
Cuba And The Cameraman, dir: Jon Alpert
My Generation, dir: David Batty
Piazza Vittorio, dir: Abel Ferrara
The Devil And Father Amorth, dir: William Friedkin
This Is Congo, dir: Daniel McCabe
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, dir: Stephen Nomura Schible
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The Story Of Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman And Tony Clifton, dir: Chris Smith
Happy Winter, dir: Giovanni Totaro
OUT OF COMPETITION – SPECIAL EVENTS
Casa D’Altri, dir: Gianni Amelio
Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D, dir: John Landis
Making Of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, dir: Jerry Kramer
Nico 1988, dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli (opening film)
*Disappearance , dir: Ali Asgari
Espèces Menacées, dir: Gilles Bourdos
The Rape Of Recy Taylor, dir: Nancy Buirski
Caniba, dirs: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel
*Les Bienheureux, dir: Sofia Djama
Marvin, dir: Anne Fontaine
Invisible, dir: Pablo Giorgelli
*Brutti E Cattivi, dir: Cosimo Gomez
The Cousin, dir: Tzahi Grad
*The Testament, dir: Amichai Greenberg
No Date, No Signature, dir: Vahid Jalilvand
*Los Versos Del Ovido, dir: Alireza Khatami
La Nuit Ou J’ai Nagé – Oyogisugita, dirs: Damien Manivel, Igarashi Kohei
Krieg, dir: Rick Ostermann
*West Of Sunshine, dir: Jason Raftopoulos
Gatta Cenerentola, dirs: Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Dario Sansone
Under The Tree, dir: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson
La Vita In Commune, dir: Edoardo Winspeare
CINEMA NEL GIARDINO
Manuel, dir: Dario Albertini
Controfigura, dir: Ra Di Martino
Woodshock, dirs: Kate and Laura Mulleavy
Nato A Casal Di Principe, dir: Bruno Oliviero
Suburra, dirs: Michele Placido, Andrea Molaioli, Guiseppe Capotondi
Tuers, dirs: Francois Troukens, jean-Francois Hensgens
VENICE VIRTUAL REALITY
Melita, dir: Nicolas Alcala
La Camera Insabbiata, dirs: Laurie Anderson, Huang Hsin-Chien
The Last Goodbye, dir: Gabo Arora
My Name Is Peter Stillman, dirs: Lysander Ashton, Leo Warner
Alice, The Virtual Reality Play, dir: Mathias Chelebourg
Arden’s Wake (Expanded), dir: Eugene YK Chung
Greenland Melting, dir: Nonny De La Pena
Bloodless, dir: Gina Kim
Nothing Happens, dirs: Uri Kranot, Michelle Kranot
The Dream Collector, dir: Mi Li
Snatch VR Heist Experience, dirs: Rafael Pavon, Nicolas Alcala
Nefertitti, dirs: Richard Mills, Kim-Leigh Pontin
Proxima, dir: Manuel Pradat
In The Pictures, dir: Qing Shao
Dispatch, dir: Edward Robles
The Argos File, dir: Josema Roig
Gomorra VR – We Own The Streets, dir: Enrico Rosati
Draw Me Close, Chapters 1-2, dir: Jordan Tannahill
The Deserted, dir: Tsai Ming-Liang
I Saw The Future, dir: Francois Vautier
Separate Silences, dir: David Wedel
Free Whale, dir: Zhang Peibin