Venice Film Festival lineup includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington and Amy Adams
ROME – Twenty movies will compete for the Venice Film Festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, organizers announcing the festival’s lineup.
This year’s Venice Film Festival will include a stylish thriller from Tom Ford, a sci-fi drama with Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams and a star turn from Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mel Gibson and Denzel Washington.
Venice is the oldest film festival in the world. Artistic director Alberto Barbera explains the focus of this year’s line-up. ‘The great themes, philosophical and existential questions, which constantly return in films, directly or indirectly, this time, are approached with film-makers taking distance from the brutality of reality and everyday news. But it is not a form of escapism from the contemporary world, it is used as a way to reflect upon today’s world in a different way,’ he added.
This year’s selections look likely to reinforce the Lido’s status as a discerning and effective awards-season platform. Last year, the festival launched ‘Spotlight’ and, before that, “Birdman” and “Gravity” — all of which went on to win multiple Oscars.
The Gibson-directed “Hacksaw Ridge” (pictured) stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond T. Doss, an army medic who never carried a gun during World War II.
Ford’s competition entry, “Nocturnal Animals,” a thriller set in the L.A. art scene and the Texas criminal underworld, is the second film directed by the fashion designer, following “A Single Man,” which premiered in Venice in 2009.
Adams stars in both Ford’s Nocturnal Animals (Focus) and Villeneuve’s Arrival (Paramount) — both of which were the subject of mega-deals in recent Cannes markets
Natalie Portman will be seen as Jacqueline Kennedy in Chilean helmer Larrain’s Jackie, and stars in Rebecca Zlotowski’s out of competitionPlanetarium with Lily-Rose Depp. In Cannes, Larrain told me Jackie would not be a classic biopic.
Lifetime Achievement Golden Lions are set for Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jerzy Skolimowski. Among other highlights, this year is a tribute to Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri on September 5. An In Conversation event will be held with a screening of footage from Sing which is world premiering in Toronto the next week. Current box office hit The Secret Life of Pets will screen in full; it hits Italian cinemas in October.
Potential awards contenders in Venice this year include U.S. filmmaker Derek Cianfrance’s “The Light Between Oceans” — a domestic drama set in a remote lighthouse starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander — and Dutch director Martin Koolhoven’s thriller “Brimstone,” with Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce.
The festival runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL — IN COMPETITION
“The Bad Batch,” Ana Lily Amirpour (U.S.)
“Une Vie,” Stephan Brizé (France, Belgium)
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle (U.S.)
“The Light Between Oceans,” Derek Cianfrance (U.S., Australia, New Zealand)
“El ciudadano ilustre,” Mariano Cohn, Gaston Duprat (Argentina, Spain)
“Spira Mirabilis,” Massimo D’Anolfi, Martina Parenti (Italy, Switzerland)
“The Woman Who Left,” Lav Diaz (Philippines)
“La region salvaje,” Amat Escalante (Mexico)
“Nocturnal Animals,” Tom Ford (U.S.)
“Piuma,” Roan Johnson (Italy)
“Paradise,” Andrei Konchalovsky (Russia, Germany)
“Brimstone,” Martin Koolhoven (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, U.K. Sweden)
“On the Milky Road,” Emir Kusturica (Serbia, U.K., U.S.)
“Jackie,” Pablo Larrain (U.S., Chile)
“Voyage of Time,” Terrence Malick (U.S., Germany)
“El Cristo ciego,” Christopher Murray (Chile, France)
“Frantz,” Francois Ozon (France)
“Questi Giorni,” Giuseppe Piccioni (Italy)
“Arrival,” Denis Villenueve (U.S.)
“The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez,” Wim Wenders (France, Germany)
“The Bleeder,” Philippe Falardeau (U.S., Canada)
“The Magnificent Seven,” Antoine Fuqua (U.S.)
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson (U.S.)
“The Journey,” Nick Hamm (U.K.)
“A jamais,” Benoit Jacquot (France, Portugal)
“Gantz:O,” Yasushi Kawamura (Japan)
“The Age of Shadows,” Kim Jee woon (South Korea)
“Monte,” Amir Naderi (Italy, U.S., France)
“Tommaso,” Kim Rossi Stewart (Italy)
“Our War,” Bruno Chiaravallotti, Claudio Jampaglia, Benedetta Argentieri (Italy, U.S.)
“I Called Him Morgan,” Kasper Collin (Sweden, U.S.)
“One More Time with Feeling,” Andrew Dominik (U.K.)
“Austerlitz,” Sergei Loznitsa (Germany)
“Assalto al cielo,” Francesco Munzi (Italy)
“Safari,” Ulrich Seidl (Austria, Denmark)
“American Anarchist,” Charlie Siskel (U.S.)
“Tarde para la ira,” Raul Arevalo (Spain)
“King of the Belgians,” Peter Brosens, Jessica Woolworth (Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria)
“Through the Wall,” Rama Burshtein (Israel)
“Liberami,” Federica Di Giacomo (Italy, France)
“Big Big World,” Reha Erdem (Turkey)
“Gukuroku,” Ishikawa Kei (Japan)
“Maudit Poutine,” Karl Lemieux, (Canada)
“Sao Jorge,” Marco Martins (Portugal, France)
“Dawson City: Frozen Time,” Bill Morrison (U.S., France)
“Reparer les vivants,” Katell Quillevere (France, Belgium)
“White Sun,” Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal, U.S., Qatar, Netherlands)
“Malaria,” Parviz Shahbazi (Iran)
“Kekszakallu,” Gaston Solnicky (Argentina)
“Home,” Fien Troch (Belgium)
“Die Einsiedler,” Fien Troch (Germany, Austria)
“Il più grande sogno,” (Italy)
“Boys in the Trees,” Nicholas Verso (Australia)
“Bitter Money,” Wang Bing (China)
Special Out-Of-Competition Screening
“Dark Night,” Tim Sutton (U.S.)
“Planetarium,” Rebecca Zlotowski (France, Belgium)
Cinema In The Garden
“Inseparables,” Marcos Carnevale (Argentina)
“Franca: Chaos and Creation,” Francesco Carrozzini (Italy, U.S.)
“In Dubious Battle,” James Franco (U.S.)
“The Net,” Kim Ki-duk (South Korea)
“Summertime,” Gabriele Muccino (Italy)
“The Secret Life of Pets,” Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney (U.S.)
“Robinu,” Michele Santoro (Italy)
“My Art,” Laurie Simmons (U.S.)