Venice Film Festival has become a cornerstone for highly anticipated award season films. This year the roster is as impressive as ever. We’ve selected five titles that have caught our eye, for you all to dive into.
Giants Being Lonely
The film is described as as a deeply personal and multi-faceted portrait of Generation Z’s transition into adulthood, “Giants Being Lonely” tells the fictional story of three high school seniors as they brace for the real world and all of its manifold challenges. Told against a baseball-centric backdrop and almost exclusively cast with unknowns, the film tackles with topics more fraught and grounded than most coming-of-age dramas, with a particular focus on the perils of neglect and abandonment.
Baumbach has decided to lend his talent to another story involving an all-star ensemble cast, featuring Scarlett Johanssen, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, “Frances Ha” breakout Mickey Sumner, and Ray Liotta as Driver’s lawyer. Said to be poignant, clever, and so harrowing that it can be difficult to watch, Marriage Story is enroute to be one of the major Award Season front runners of the fall.
Box office hit? Critical acclaim? Cult following? Massive flop? The outcomes are limitless for this dark look inside of Hollywood’s most notorious villain. Stepping inot Heath Ledgers final great performance of the pop culture and comic book villain icon is sure to be a doozy.
Japanese Director Kore-eda Hirokazu took home the Palm d’Or, hightailed it on a plane to NYC, gathered up Ethan Hawke (whose no dummy and said yes to the Director’s first film outside of his native country) and proceeded to gobble up an impressive international cast. We smell a hit. The film is based on an unproduced play that Kore-eda wrote 15 years ago, The Truth stars Juliette Binoche as a woman who returns to Paris when her mother, a famous actress played by Catherine Deneuve, publishes a controversial memoir (Hawke plays Binoche’s husband). Unpacking familiar ideas about the performative nature of personal relationships, The Truth represents a new direction for its director, but much of its premise still echoes the family dramas that have always been Kore-eda’s bread and butter. You can expect Kore-eda’s latest opus will inaugurate the fall movie season by kicking off Venice after much speculation over The Truth opening Cannes.
Director Olivier Assayas is back with a new movie less than a year after his “Non-Fiction” injected some unsparing French wit into last years more somber festival season. A sharp pivot away from that delightful talkathon, Wasp Network finds Assayas revisiting the hectic world of political violence that he previously explored in 2010’s “Carlos.” This long-simmering movie inspired by a true story about a group of Cuban spies who operated out of Florida in the 1990s with the consent of the American government — may not be quite as meaty as Assayas’ three-part terrorism epic, but his decision to cast “Carlos” star Édgar Ramirez in the lead role suggests that the filmmaker is looking to recapture some of the visceral energy he forfeited in order to make a more contemplative films starring Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper”). Wasp Network also includes the likes of Penélope Cruz, Gael García Bernal, and Ana de Armas, and gives us reason to believe that one of modern cinema’s most relentless creative forces is about to dominate this year’s Venice Film Festival.