Peter Bradshaw offers up his take on what’s going down so far at the Venice Film Festival, the world’s first annual glimpse at what will become the best films from the end-of-the-year. Apparently, films on two British icons, Queen Elizabeth II and John Lennon, have been big hits. Those two films, narrative feature The Queen and documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon, will be hitting a few more festivals before landing in theaters soon. Raves have also surrounded Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi tale, Children of Men. What films aren’t playing as well? Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center has bombed, for starters. So much so, that Bradshaw dubs it, “The worst film at Venice, probably the worst film of the year.” Here’s more from Bradshaw’s report:
The weird-and-wonderful vote goes to the cult Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His new film, Syndromes and a Century, is the story of shy love in a provincial hospital in Thailand. Or is it? A reincarnation motif has scenes replayed in different locales, from different angles with different people, baffling the viewer.
There was more British input with the defiant survival of a film many had expected to quietly expire. This was Infamous, the Truman Capote biopic directed by Douglas McGrath, a film that had the misfortune to be almost exactly similar in subject matter to a huge American success, Capote. Here, British actor Toby Jones plays the elfin American author.
Meanwhile, Alfonso Cuarón’s future-world nightmare Children of Men – reviewed in the main section of today’s paper – continues to cause excitement, and the festival looks forward to Kenneth Branagh’s The Magic Flute, Darren Aronofsky’s sci-fi romance The Fountain and David Lynch’s Inland Empire.