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

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 19, 2012 at 3:11PM

With the release of a second teaser trailer of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" this morning, we got another look at one of the most anticipated films of the year. And with the picture already slated for an October 13th release, for some traveling film critics and fans, and those prepared to head to Italy, the Venice Film Festival could be where the film makes its world premiere, with artistic director Alberto Barbera suggesting a few weeks back that Anderson was heading to the Lido for the fest, which kicks off on August 29th.

"Love Is All You Need"
Sony Pictures Classics "Love Is All You Need"
"Love Is All You Need" (dir. Susanne Bier)
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Paprika Steen, Kim Bodnia, Trine Dyrholm
Fresh off her Oscar-winning "In A Better World," and in production on the Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence vehicle "Serena," Susanne Bier knocked out rom-com that stars Paprika Steen ("The One And Only") along with Pierce Brosnan. The film's been snapped up by distributors worldwide, including Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S., who'd be keen on a big festival launch, and an Italian setting would make it a natural fit. But Venice's insistence on premieres might be its undoing: it's set for a release in Denmark on August 30th, which is the day after the festival gets underway. Could it land the opening slot? It'd be a step down from the high-profile "Black Swan" and "The Ides Of March" in recent years, but it's not impossible -- Guiseppe Tornatore's mostly forgotten "Baaria" opened the fest in 2009.

"Stoker" (dir. Park Chan-Wook)
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver, Alden Ehrenreich
Yet another film tipped for Cannes, the Fox Searchlight thriller (penned by "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller) perhaps wouldn't ordinarily be attracting festival attention, were it not the English-language debut of "Oldboy" helmer Park Chan-wook. He's been a staple at Berlin and Cannes in recent years, but was in competition in 2005 for "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance," and a dark, Oedipal drama with an impressive -- but not overly starry -- cast bodes well. That being said,was there a reason it didn't make it to Cannes?

The Last Supper
"The Last Supper" (dir. Lu Chuan)
Cast: Liu Ye, Daniel Wu, Chang Chen
Lu Chuan became a major figure on the international scene thanks to 2009's "City Of Life And Death," which won the top prize at San Sebastian that year. And his lush costume drama "The Last Supper" would fit in nicely with some of the Asian selections of recent years. Chuan was hoping to release the film in China in August, which probably would have ruled it out, given the premiere-only rule, but it was announced yesterday that censors in the country have blocked the release. This is something of a double-edged sword -- it means that it could get its premiere in Venice, but it also means that  the Chinese authorities are likely to have issues with the film leaving the country. That said, last year's surprise film, "People Mountain People Sea," faced a similar issue, and still managed to make it to Italy. This one's probably a 50/50 chance, if that. 

This article is related to: Features, Venice Film Festival, To the Wonder , Anna Karenina, The Master, Passion, Life Of Pi

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