The 72nd Venice Film Festival has massively reinvented itself and ignited serious Awards Buzz speculation. Director Alberto Barbera deserves the credit for skillfully breathing new fire into the world’s oldest film festival. The diverse lineup features international celebrities and a slate of new comers which is what film festivals should be about. The Venice Film Festival is a unique experience, an elegant and inclusive affair with that touch of glamour and mystery only the watery canals of this architectural gem can inspire.
Everest 3D IMAX. Baltasar Kormakur directs a gripping action thriller based on a true story about one of the worst climbing disasters caused by a severe snow storm on Mount Everest, Nepal. Directed by Baltasar Kormákur, starring Jake Gyllenhaal the movie opens the 72nd Venice Film Festival. Everest is a breathtaking and intimate film about the men and women who climb Everest and the community that supports them. And it is about the mountain. Existing footage and elements of the 1996 movie ‘Everest’ and 1998 IMAX movie of the same name have been incorporated, lending essential location credibility. On April 25, 2015 a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal killing 22 people on Mt. Everest. April 18th, 2014 an avalanche had killed 16 people. Everest is the most deadly mountain on Earth. Everest is now closed to climbers for the first time in 41 years. Ensemble cast includes: Sam Worthington, Kiera Knightly, Emily Watson, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin. Soundtrack composed by Dario Marianelli Universal Pictures. This one is a must see. Make it 3D IMAX.
The Danish Girl
Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) has proven he knows how to craft a film. This 1920’s love story is packed with star power. Eddie Redmayne plays Lili an artist who will pioneer transgender transformation with the help of his wife Gerda Wegener. The trailer is already causing major Awards Buzz.
Johnny Depp leaves his playful, charming and often roguish characterizations (Edward Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow) to return to more violent, dark characters (Sweeney Todd, Donnie Brasco) as he channels one of south Boston’s most infamous violent criminals. Black Mass is inspired by the true story of Whitey Bulgar, the brother of a state senator who becomes an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. Ensemble cast: Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, Rory Cochrane, Sienna Miller, Adam Scott.
A Bigger Splash
A romantic thriller by Luca Guadagnino ( “I Am Love”), the third of a trilogy. Stars Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts. While on vacation on the idyllic Italian Island of Pantelleria, a famous rock star and a filmmaker (Matthias Schoenaerts and Swinton) have unexpected visitors arrive; an old friend and his daughter (Fiennes and Dakota Johnson). Then things get complicated.
Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Win Win) directs this thriller, based on a true story. Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), the Boston Globe team who investigated the Boston Archdiocese’s sexl abuse cover-up. At the time the scandal was ignored by the mainstream media, police and the legal system. Also stars Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber, Brian D’Arcy James and Stanley Tucci.
Directed by Drake Doremus ‘Equals’ stars Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Guy Pearce, and Bel Powley. A futuristic sci-fi love story set in a world where emotions have been eliminated and asks the question “Can Love Conquer All”?
Janis: Little Girl Blue
A long anticipated documentary about Janis Joplin, the tomboy beatnik who would go on to become a rock icon, burning out at 27 from a heroin overdose. ‘Janis’ also reveals the woman behind the fame. Drawn from classic performances, rare footage and Janis’s personal letters. The voice over by Cat Power (Chan Marshall) is remarkably affecting. It is directed by Academy nominated documentarian Amy Berg.
L’attesa The Wait
Piero Messina, who was assistant director for Paolo Sorrentino on “This Must Be The Place” and “The Great Beauty”, makes his directorial debut with this long anticipated film. Described as a Pasolini-esque look at contemporary low life on Rome’s outskirts the film stars Juliette Binoche.
Charlie Kaufman’s (“Synecdoche, New York,”, 2008) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind & Being John Malcovich. This animated, stop motion feature was crowd-funded on Kickstarter and is co-directed with Duke Johnson.
American director Jonathan Demme who will receive the Persol ‘Tribute to Visionary Talent Award’ and Italian director Saverio Costanzo (Hungry Hearts) will each chair a jury at the Venice Film Festival, joining Competition president Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity).
Demme will head the Orizzonti, or Horizons, section dedicated to world cinema that awards prizes for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor or Actress, Best Short and a Special Jury award.
Catch up on our Awards Buzz web series and look for fresh reports and future episodes from Venice, TIFF and the Palm Springs International Film Festivals on the way to the Golden Globes, Emmy’s, People’s Choice Awards, BAFTA’s and the Oscars.