Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes' loss is Venice's gain as departing director Marco Muller heads into either his ultimate year or a contract extension.

Thanks to a number of films that either didn't finish or make the Cannes cut, the 68th Venice Film Festival looks like it's going to be a strong one. Variety assembles a collection of probabilities and possibilities which I gather is a mix of hits and misses, speculation and Italian distributor intelligence. Muller and his election committee are still locking several films that are not on Variety's list, while others mentioned are not finished and have not been viewed or even discussed. What we do know is that from August 31 through September 10, several highly anticipated films will screen. See below.

Variety is confident about the following: Roman Polanski's Carnage, David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, Todd Solondz's Dark Horse, Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights, Steve McQueen's Shame, and Michael Winterbottom's Trishna, an adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Documentaries from Cameron Crowe (PJ20 about Pearl Jam), Jonathan Demme (about Hurricane Katrina) and Fatih Akin Garbage in the Garden of Eden are also slotted. Steven Soderbergh's two films, Contagion and Haywire, as well as Steven Spielberg's War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, are under consideration. Walter Salles' On the Road (which screened for buyers in Cannes Friday), and Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmasters are among those said to be rushing to be ready for the fest.

Here's more.