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What Could Be In This Year's Venice Film Festival Line-Up? 'To The Wonder,' 'The Master,' 'Anna Karenina' & More

by Oliver Lyttelton
June 19, 2012 3:11 PM
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"Life Of Pi" (dir. Ang Lee)
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Tobey Maguire, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu
Ang Lee is a serious favorite at Venice: he won the Golden Lion twice in three years, for "Brokeback Mountain" and "Lust, Caution," and headed the jury in 2009. Ordinarily, we'd say that would make his new film a lock, but given that it's not due for release until Thanksgiving, and the extensive visual effects work involved, it might be a stretch. And Fox may prefer to start the awards season campaign at a more populist fest like TIFF where audience buzz will be more loudly heard.

"The Place Beyond The Pines" (dir. Derek Cianfrance)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Dane DeHaan
Hotly tipped, and reportedly even screened for the Cannes selection committee, our understanding is that Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to "Blue Valentine" simply wasn't ready in time, particularly Mike Patton's score. One would assume that the extra few months might have done the trick for the generational crime saga, with Gosling as a motorcycle stunt rider who comes into conflict with a cop-turned-politician (Cooper). That being said, with a plenty of other U.S. fare in competition, our gut says that this will probably end up bowing at Toronto or Telluride, but you never know.

"A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III"/"The Bling Ring" (dir. Roman Coppola/Sofia Coppola)
Cast: Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzmann/Emma Watson, Leslie Mann
As the (controversial) winner of the Golden Lion in 2010, Sofia Coppola certainly has every reason to come back to Venice with her latest film, which investigates the true-life gang of Beverly Hills burglars. That being said, it only wrapped recently, and Coppola would have to turn it around quickly in order for it to be ready for the festival, and the subject matter seems to be anathema to the new "less glitzy/more serious" approach. Perhaps more likely is her brother Roman's long-awaited return, which shot last year, and should be in a better place. Again, would the presence of Charlie Sheen in the year bring the wrong kind of attention for the festival? Or is there no such thing as bad publicity? We'd peg it as a more likely TIFF premiere, but don't count it out.

"Camille Claudel" (dir. Bruno Dumont)
Cast: Juliette Binoche
French helmer Bruno Dumont only started filming his latest -- which stars Juliette Binoche as a sculptor confined to an asylum during the First World War -- at the beginning of this year, which meant that it was likely too late for his more regular home of Cannes, and surely Barbera would snatch up the opportunity to showcase the film. That being said, Dumont's also a regular at Toronto, and the extra couple of weeks might suit the director's schedule better, whereas he'd be a Venice first timer if he did make it in this year. This one could go either way, or it might not even surface until Berlin or Cannes next year.

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  • John | August 13, 2012 5:13 AMReply

    so excited about RHINOS SEASON it's gonna be awesome

  • dominique | July 5, 2012 6:41 PMReply

    le mouvement

  • LUKE | June 24, 2012 2:16 PMReply

    Ulrich Seidl's two of his trilogy : "Paradise Hope" & "Paradise: Faith" will probably be in Venice & TIFF.

  • jb | June 22, 2012 9:47 AMReply

    the formatting of this list, specifically combining several films, was very confusing.

  • Janice | June 21, 2012 1:32 AMReply

    Or um byzantium perhaps.

  • Conan | June 20, 2012 8:49 AMReply

    I think FoxSearchlight will follow the steps of Black Swan with Stoker. They'll premiere the movie at Venice and then, it will go to TIFF.

  • Sarah | June 20, 2012 8:12 AMReply

    Waiting Ghobadi's new masterpiece...

  • Leonardo | June 20, 2012 12:56 AMReply

    Great list, i'm so excited for several of this list so i hope that a few of them do make and appearence in the fest, but a few others do sound like they might dwon't even make the Festivals route and go directly to the cinemas and others might be reserved for TIFF

  • sdle | June 19, 2012 11:47 PMReply

    Stoker obviously wasn't in Cannes because it wasn't finished? Clint Mansell is only now finishing up the score. I'd be pretty surprised if it didn't go to Venice. It already has a distributor and like you mentioned, Park has a relationship with the festival as well. It makes just as much sense, if not more, for it to go to Venice.

  • DG | June 19, 2012 7:36 PMReply

    Only God Forgives and the Master all the way

  • Chris | June 19, 2012 6:11 PMReply

    How does The Bling Ring's subject matter serve as an anathema to the festival's new look? I think it works perfectly since the film basically rejects materialism and celebrity culture outright!

  • AS | June 19, 2012 6:01 PMReply

    I'm most excited about Only God Forgives & The Master.

  • Lenz | June 19, 2012 5:40 PMReply

    Michael Mann will give the Golden Lion to Spring Breakers.

  • BEF | June 19, 2012 3:46 PMReply

    The Lido looks like it will be better than Cannes this year, just from what they have to choose from.

  • Ben | June 19, 2012 3:45 PMReply

    Bruno Dumont's "Camille Claudel" is scheduled to be released in France on November 21 by ARP Selection, so a premiere at Venice seems likely.

  • Christian | June 19, 2012 3:27 PMReply

    Correction: Valhalla Rising wasn't Refn's first Venice film, that was Bleeder.

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