Paolo Sorrentino’s film about the death of his own parents, Jane Campion’s 1920s frontier saga, and a hard-hitting French abortion story are among the top prize nominees in the Venice Film Festival today (11), with the dispute open.
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Film critics agreed that the main competition of 21 titles, which includes Kristen Stewart’s return as Princess Diana in Spencer, is one of the strongest in recent memory, as many movies were postponed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Out of the competition, and ineligible for awards, are Denis Villeneuve’s remake of the sci-fi classic Danube and Ridley Scott’s medieval epic Or Last Duel.
These two films have boosted star ratings, a vital ingredient for a successful festival, and even more after last year’s restricted edition. Ben Affleck — hand in hand with Jennifer Lopez — Matt Damon, Timothee Chalamet, Stewart and Penelope Cruz were among the artists on the red carpet.
With Covid-19’s restrictions, fans were kept away from celebrities, though Chalamet jumped over a security fence to sign autographs and pose for photos with a screaming crowd.
There were fewer parties, and with theaters running at half capacity, many struggled to reserve seats through the obligatory online platform. But the frisson was back.
“I thought the cast looked phenomenal,” said Scott Roxborough of the Hollywood Reporter, praising the mix of big-budget Hollywood movies with more intimate works like Reflection, a Ukrainian film about the war against Russian-backed separatists.