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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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"Cloud Atlas"
"Cloud Atlas"

"Cloud Atlas" (dir. The Wachowskis & Tom Tykwer)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving
Even though we've been burnt by the Wachowskis many, many times before, we're increasingly excited by their adaptation of David Mitchell's novel, co-directed by Tom Tykwer. For one, the source material is great. For another, word out of test screenings and showings for buyers at Cannes has been very strong. But a Venice appearance? We'd be quite surprised. A big budget, sci-fi flick from blockbuster filmmakers seems an odd festival fit. And considering the possibility of the project being so divisive, a high-profile festival bow is potentially risky. This is all a gut feeling -- it's possibly the most likely of this section to make it in -- but we'd be very surprised if it was seen anywhere before it starts rolling out in Europe and elsewhere in October.

"Zero Dark Thirty" (dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Jason Clarke, Harold Perrineau, Edgar Ramirez
A premiere at Venice back in 2008 started the train that ended up with Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards almost 18 months later. So in a way, a triumphant homecoming to the Lido would make perfect sense. But again, filming started late on the project, with shooting only wrapping up a month or so ago. And furthermore, the release date was pushed back to avoid accusations of interference with the U.S. elections in November, and to premiere before then would be to risk kicking off the debates all over again. Again, we suspect this'll be kept under wraps until at least Thanksgiving.

Coen Isaac Llewyn Davis

"Inside Llewyn Davis" (dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garret Hedlund, Adam Driver, John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham
While they've been Cannes regulars of late, the Coen Brothers did open Venice in 2008 with "Burn After Reading," and any festival would be glad to have a new film by them. But again, August may be a bit soon, even by their standards -- indeed, there's no guarantee at this point that it'll show up before 2013 in theaters. If it does go the festival route, TIFF or NYFF are probably better bets, or it could follow the path of "True Grit" and bypass them entirely.

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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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