Venice Movie Pageant reclaiming its star-studded mojo

VENICE – Venice Movie Pageant returns to the highlight Wednesday with a world roster of blockbuster and auteur films and Hollywood’s jet-set poised to face the cameras. Held on the glitzy, beach-lined Lido, the world’s oldest movie pageant will search to recuperate among the glamour misplaced final yr, when coronavirus saved away many members, together with probably the most pink carpet-worthy celebrities. However with strict anti-Covid measures in place, “La Mostra”, as it’s identified in Italy, will once more search to show that it’s the indispensable springboard for the Oscars, with a first-rate sampling of movies from across the globe. 

The bar is excessive this yr, after the rival Cannes Movie Pageant stole some focus in July after cancelling its 2020 competitors.

However the director of Venice’s pageant, Alberto Barbera, informed AFP the pandemic appeared to have stimulated the creativity of filmmakers, with a very prime quality of submissions this yr.

“It’s just like the troublesome circumstances… served to stimulate the creativity of the administrators,” mentioned Barbera in an interview Tuesday forward of the opening, as staff had been busy placing the ultimate touches to the pink carpet.

“Lots of the administrators’ movies are amongst their greatest,” Barbera mentioned. “Because of this in all probability this version shall be one of many strongest of latest years.”

A jury led by “Parasite” director Bong Joon-Ho will award one among 21 movies in the principle competitors the coveted Golden Lion prime prize throughout a closing night time ceremony on September 11. 

“Nomadland”, which snatched up a number of Oscars, together with greatest movie, on the 2020 Academy Awards, was final yr’s Venice winner, though neither director Chloe Zhao nor main actress Frances McDormand had been in a position to make the journey to Italy.

This yr, issues ought to be completely different, Barbera mentioned, with extra Hollywood expertise heading for the pageant, extra spectators and extra worldwide press.

Among the many stars anticipated to stroll the pink carpet over the course of the pageant are Kristen Stewart – taking part in Girl Diana in Pablo Larrain’s “Spencer” — Benedict Cumberbatch, Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. 

The competitors kicks off Wednesday night with “Madres Paralelas” (Parallel Moms), the most recent movie by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, starring Cruz as one among two ladies from completely different generations and backgrounds awaiting childbirth in a maternity ward.

A Golden Lion for profession achievement shall be awarded to Italy’s Oscar-winning actor and director Roberto Benigni (“Life is Lovely”). 

On the blockbuster entrance, and out of the principle competitors, the $165 million sci-fi “Dune” is ready to have its world premiere Friday, whereas Matt Damon and Ben Affleck return as writers and stars of Ridley Scott’s “The Final Duel”. 

Netflix, which has had prior success on the pageant with “Roma” and “Marriage Story”, is behind two of this yr’s hopefuls, “The Energy of the Canine” by Jane Campion and Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God.”

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