Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Best of the Fests: Venice Begins

The 65th Venice Film Festival opens today with the world premiere of the Coen Brothers' quirky crime caper Burn After Reading (starring George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton and Brad Pitt). Other notable films screening at the fest -- and building their early Oscar Buzz -- include:
  • The Burning Plain: A mother-daughter drama starring, respectively, Academy Award winners Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.
  • The Hurt Locker: Yet another Iraq war film, this one directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes.
  • Inju: The Beast in the Shadow (a.k.a. Inju, la bĂȘte dans l'ombre): Tokyo set thriller from French director Barbet Schroeder.
  • Ponyo on the Cliff: A tale of a boy and a goldfish princess, this is the latest animated fantasy from the master of such things, Hayao Miyazaki.
  • Rachel Getting Married: Word has it that Anne Hathaway may finally get noticed by Oscar for this dysfunctional family drama, directed by Jonathan Demme.
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor: Documentary look at legendary Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani.
  • The Wrestler: The story of a retired professional wrestler named Randy "The Ram" Robinson (and played by ... Mickey Rourke!) at first doesn't sound like much ... except that Darren Aronofsky, of Requiem for a Dream fame, directed it.
The Venice Film Festival continues through September 6. For a quick look at the full line up, visit Screen Daily.

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