Oscar season kick-off
American movies rule at Venice, while Clooney & wrinkle-free Madonna cause acommotion
With so many bad movies in theaters right now, it is nice to see that the near future of American cinematography is promising.
Hollywood’s biggest celebrities have been dusting off their tuxedos to attend the 68th annual Venice Film Festival — the world's oldest film festival — which began Wednesday and lasts through Sept. 10.
With an extraordinary lineup of 22 films, American cinema has become the spotlight for the international event withThe Ides of March, directed by George Clooney, receiving the most hype. Based on the play by Beau Willimon, the movie stars Ryan Gosling as an idealistic staffer working for a presidential candidate (Clooney) who learns the truth about dirty politics while on the campaign trail.
Reviews for the film, which opened the festival, were "positive but a bit reserved," the Los Angeles Times noted. The film opens in U.S. theaters Oct. 7.
Reviews of W.E. were mixed, as some critics seemed more mesmerized by Madonna's face. The London Daily Mail noted that she is "apparently a fan of innovative beauty treatments including human placenta facials."
Along Clooney’s side are a large list of American actors hoping that the festival will spark 2012 Oscar buzz around their films. Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Matthew McConaughey plan to attend, along with Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Madonna appeared on the red carpet Thursday night in the role of director to promote her new film, W.E., loosely based on the relationship between American divorcee Wallis Simpson and Britain's King Edward VIII, which eventually led him to abdicate the throne in 1936. It is her second stab at directing. Critics panned her first effort, the 2008 comedy drama Filth and Wisdom.
Reviews of W.E. were mixed, as some critics seemed more mesmerized by the 53-year-old singer-turned-director's face. The London Daily Mail noted that she "had a complexion that was glowing and despite her advancing years, amazingly line-free" and noted that she has said in the past that she opposes plastic surgery and is "apparently a fan of innovative beauty treatments including human placenta facials."
Here's a list of the American films that will have world premieres at the festival and arrive in theaters before the end of the year:
- The Ides of March, directed by George Clooney, starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymore Hoffman
- 4:44 Last Day on Earth, directed by Abel Ferrara, starring Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Natasha Lyonne
- Sal, directed by James Franco, starring James Franco, Jim Parrack, Brian Goodman
- Wilde Salome, directed by Al Pacino, starring Al Pacino, Jessica Chastain, Kevin Anderson
- Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Matt Damon, Kate Winset, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
- Dark Horse, directed by Todd Solondz, starring Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow
- Texas Killing Fields, directed by Ami Canaan Mann, starring Sam Washington, Jessica Chastain, Chloe Grace Moretz
- Killer Joe, directed by William Friedkin, starring Matthew McConaughey, Emilie Hirsch, Juno Temple
- I'm Carolyn Parker: the Good, the Mad and the Beautiful, directed by Jonathan Demme
- Photographic Memory, directed by Ross McElwee