Venice Movie Competition 2023: What to Watch For


A yr in the past, the Venice Movie Competition had sufficient star energy to place even celebrity-worshiping Cannes on discover. Highlights had been shortly beamed everywhere in the world, together with the infamous “Don’t Fear Darling” kickoff that fueled infinite hypothesis concerning the movie’s director, Olivia Wilde, and her stars Florence Pugh and Harry Kinds; the information convention the place an unexpectedly sagacious Timothée Chalamet predicted imminent societal collapse; and the tearful Brendan Fraser comeback that started on the Lido and culminated in his finest actor Oscar win.

However with out all of these celebrities, can Venice nonetheless go viral?

The eightieth version of the pageant, which begins on Wednesday, will likely be considerably affected by persevering with strikes by the Display Actors Guild (or SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America, for the reason that actors’ union has instructed its members to not do press for any studio films till the strike in opposition to these corporations is resolved. That places Venice in a bind, because it’s thought to be probably the greatest locations for Hollywood to unveil starry awards-season titles. Few main actors will even be permitted to attend this yr.

The actors’ strike has already price Venice its authentic opening-night movie, Luca Guadagnino’s horny tennis romance, “Challengers,” since MGM delayed it from September to spring within the hopes that its lead, Zendaya, will likely be allowed to advertise a number of months from now when the strikes is perhaps resolved. (A low-profile Italian movie is opening as an alternative.) And I’ve heard of some extra starry fall movies that had been earmarked for Venice however opted for the Telluride Movie Competition as an alternative, since that occasion is much less pushed by the picture ops and information conferences which can be not possible in Italy.

Regardless of a few of these trims, the Venice lineup continues to be engaging, with an auteur-heavy checklist that includes administrators practically as well-known as their leads. And Venice has proved earlier than that it may well adapt to unfavorable limitations: Amid the pandemic in August 2020, the pageant opted for a smaller, partly open-air version that also went on to premiere the eventual winner of one of the best image Oscar, “Nomadland.”

This yr’s program consists of two movies about assassins-for-hire: David Fincher’s new thriller, “The Killer,” stars Michael Fassbender, whereas Richard Linklater’s “Hit Man” options the “Prime Gun: Maverick” breakout Glen Powell, who additionally served as a co-writer. I’m curious concerning the off-kilter comedy “Poor Issues,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favorite”) and starring Emma Stone as a sexually curious Frankenstein’s monster. Ditto “Maestro,” Bradley Cooper’s second directorial effort, after “A Star Is Born.” He’s solid himself because the composer Leonard Bernstein, reverse Carey Mulligan as Bernstein’s spouse, Felicia, and his determination to put on a prosthetic nostril has already set off controversy.

Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” was a giant hit final yr, however what is going to that story seem like by means of Sofia Coppola’s lens? The “Misplaced in Translation” and “Marie Antoinette” director places her highlight on Elvis Presley’s spouse with “Priscilla,” that includes Cailee Spaeny as teen bride Priscilla Presley and the “Euphoria” star Jacob Elordi because the singer. Ava DuVernay has tailored the Isabel Wilkerson guide “Caste” for her new movie, “Origin,” which stars the Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis in an examination of racism and systemic oppression. And although Michael Mann has secured a guild exemption that might permit the solid of “Ferrari” to advertise in Venice, I’m curious whether or not his new movie’s press-shy lead, Adam Driver (because the racer-turned-car-magnate Enzo Ferrari), is prepared to do a full-blown media blitz for the film, which the recent indie studio Neon is releasing in theaters on Christmas Day.

Two years after the discharge of his Oscar-winning breakthrough “Drive My Automobile,” the director Ryusuke Hamaguchi returns to the pageant circuit with “Evil Does Not Exist,” which originated as a dialogue-free brief and have become a feature-length movie about ecological collapse. And two months after releasing his feature-length “Asteroid Metropolis,” the director Wes Anderson is choosing one thing shorter with “The Great Story of Henry Sugar,” a 37-minute Roald Dahl adaptation for Netflix.

Concord Korine premiered his largest movie, “Spring Breakers,” at Venice again in 2012, and he’ll return with the mysterious “Aggro Dr1ft,” which stars the rapper Travis Scott and was shot solely utilizing infrared pictures. He’s not the one director taking probabilities: Pablo Larraín, the director of “Jackie” and “Spencer,” has set the divas apart for a second to make “El Conde,” a black-and-white supernatural fable that reimagines the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a bloodsucking vampire.

After which there are the probabilities that Venice itself is taking in terms of three auteurs: It’s premiering “Dogman” from Luc Besson, who was accused of sexual assault however cleared by prosecutors; “The Palace” from Roman Polanski, who was convicted of illegal intercourse with a minor however fled earlier than he could possibly be sentenced; and “Coup de Likelihood” from Woody Allen, who has denied sexual abuse accusations by Dylan Farrow, his adopted daughter.

Venice can even function an elegy of types for the director William Friedkin, who died earlier this month and whose last movie, the naval drama “The Caine Mutiny Courtroom-Martial,” will premiere posthumously on the Lido. Tailored by Friedkin from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Herman Wouk, it stars Jake Lacy and Kiefer Sutherland.


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