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

Features
by Oliver Lyttelton
June 19, 2012 3:11 PM
16 Comments
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The Long Shots

"Seven Psychopaths" (dir. Martin McDonagh)
Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Gabourey Sidibe
Martin McDonagh was already a much lauded playwright, and Oscar-winning director of a short film, when he made his 2008 feature debut "In Bruges," which premiered at Sundance to glowing reviews, and has only become more loved in the time that's passed since. CBS Films are putting out his starry follow-up "Seven Psychopaths" in November, but could it make it to Venice beforehand? We think it's probably a long shot -- the festival generally leans towards more serious fare than even Cannes -- but it's not totally outside the realm of possibility. A Toronto appearance feels like a near-certainty, though.

"The Silver Linings Playbook"/"Django Unchained" (dir. David O Russell/Quentin Tarantino)
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver
It's clear from their showing of footage at Cannes that The Weinstein Company have high hopes for both the new comedy of romance and mental illness from David O. Russell and for Tarantino's slavery spaghetti western. Neither seem to be obvious awards fare, so could possibly use an boost at prestigious festival like this, and Tarantino was jury president two years ago. But he's still filming 'Django,' which surely rules it out, and while Russell's further along with 'Playbook,' we'd be surprised if that made the trip too, especially with the company looking after "The Master" at the same time. We'd wager that 'Django' will end up skipping the festival route entirely, while Telluride/TIFF seem more likely for 'Playbook'.  

"Untitled James Gray Project" (dir. James Gray)
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard
Although he only begun on his latest film -- a period tale of an immigrant (Cotillard) caught between a sleazy pimp (Phoenix) and a magician -- at the beginning of the year, when we spoke to James Gray a few months back, the helmer told us the film could conceivably be finished for Venice or Toronto. So why isn't this much higher up the list? Well, The Weinstein Company snapped it up last week, and are planning a 2013 release for the film, which make a Venice bow unlikely. With the company already overflowing with awards season possibilities, and Gray a French favorite, we'd guess that this should crop up on the Croisette next year.

"The Grandmasters" (dir. Wong Kar-Wai)
Cast: Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen
Ah, "The Grandmasters," Wong Kar-Wai's ever-delayed movie. The film has been shooting on and off for almost three years, and has been rumored for virtually every festival between then and now, but it looks like there's finally light at the end of the tunnel for the project, with the film now slated for a December release in China. But an August date in Venice? Highly unlikely. The project was still filming last month, and we sincerely doubt it'll crop up at any festivals before it opens in China. The best bet for an international showing is at Berlin in February before an eventual stateside release.

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16 Comments

  • 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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