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‘The Danish Girl’ and ‘A Bigger Splash’ Join ‘Everest’ and ‘Black Mass’ at Venice Film Festival

'The Danish Girl' and 'A Bigger Splash' Join 'Everest' and 'Black Mass' at Venice Film Festival

The fall awards season is starting to take shape.

Already announced were the Venice International Film Festival ( Sept. 2-12) opener, Baltasar Kormakur’s mountain saga “Everest,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Working Title/Universal) and Johnny Depp-starrer “Black Mass” (Warner Bros.). Now Venice confirms what we figured out from Tuesday’s Toronto program: World premieres include “The Danish Girl” starring Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (Focus Features), Charlie Kaufman’s Kickstarter-financed animated feature for adults, “Anomalisa,” starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cary Fukunaga’s African actioner “Beasts of No Nation,” starring Idris Elba (Netflix), Atom Egoyan’s “Remember,” starring Christopher Plummer, and Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” starring Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton, which are also playing Toronto. 

Artistic director Alberto Barbera has booked three Hollywood movies directed by non-Americans in a row: Venice opened last year with Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s eventual Oscar-winner “Birdman” and the year before, Alfonso Cuaron’s space opera “Gravity,” which also won multiple Oscars. Barbera has also added American master Martin Scorsese to the program via the 16-minute short “The Audition,” starring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt–and Scorsese. 

In Venice Competition are: Argentinian Pablo Trapero’s thriller “The Clan,” Israeli Amos Gitai’s historic drama “Rabin, the Last Day,” “Francophonia,” Russian Alexander Sokurov’s look at the Louvre under German occupation, Italian Marco Bellocchio’s 17th century vampire drama “Blood of my Blood,” starring Alba Rohrwacher as a seductive nun, and former Paolo Sorrentino assistant director Piero Messina’s Sicily drama “L’attesa” (“The Wait”), starring Juliette Binoche. Closing the festival is Guan Hu’s gangster comedy “Mr. Six,” starring Feng Xiaogang.  
Among the American contingent, beside Kaufman’s “Anomalisa” there’s rookie Laurie Anderson’s drama “Heart of a Dog,” and futuristic love story “Equals” from Drake Doremus (“Like Crazy”). Documentaries include prolific Amy Berg’s Janis Joplin biodic “Janis,” Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s “De Palma,” featuring an in-depth interview with the filmmaker, and Frederick Wiseman’s “In Jackson Heights.”
Most likely to be part of the awards conversation is “The Danish Girl,” Tom Hooper’s follow-up to “Les Miserables,” starring Redmayne as early transsexual Lili Ebe; Fukunaga’s “Beasts,” starring Elba as a fearsome West African commando leading of children into war;  Luca Guadagnino’s Competition thriller “A Bigger Splash” (the Fox Searchlight film wasn’t ready for Cannes), starring Matthias Schoenaerts as a rock star involved with a filmmaker (Tilda Swinton, star of Guadagnino’s “I Am Love”), who are on vacation in Italy; Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson also star.

There’s also out-of-competition “Black Mass,” Scott Cooper’s Whitey Bulger biopic starring Depp in heavy makeup and blue contact lenses, as well as Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Sarsgaard, Kevin Bacon, Sienna Miller, and Dakota Johnson. The picture was shown in rough early form to Cannes but wasn’t finished in time. Given its designation as a Canadian premiere it may show in Telluride as well. (Warner Bros., September 18). 

Also likely to show in Telluride is another potentially awards-worthy film playing out-of-competition, “Spotlight,” Thomas McCarthy’s drama about Boston Globe journalists who set out in 2003 to expose Catholic Church sex abuse, starring Ruffalo, Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, Billy Crudup, and John Slattery (Open Road, November 6).
Venice’s avant-garde “Orrizonto” section includes actor-turned-director Brady Corbet’s “The Childhood of a Leader,” starring Robert Pattinson; Dito Montiel’s dystopian war actioner “Man Down,” starring Shia LaBeouf; and French journalist Nicolas Saada’s Mumbai terrorist thriller “Taj Mahal,” starring Stacy Martin.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL — IN COMPETITION
“Frenzy,” Emin Alper (Turkey, France, Qatar)
“Heart of a Dog,” Laurie Anderson (U.S.)
“Blood of My Blood,” Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
“Looking for Grace,” Sue Brooks (Australia)
“Equals,” Drake Doremus (U.S.)
“Remember,” Atom Egoyan (Canada, Germany)
“Beasts of No Nation,” Cary Fukunaga (U.S.)
“Per amor vostro,” Giuseppe M. Gaudino (Italy, France)
“Marguerite,” Xavier Giannoli (France, Czech Republic, Belgium)
“Rabin, the Last Day,” Amos Gitai (Isreal, France)
“A Bigger Splash,” Luca Guadagnino (Italy, France)
“The Endless River,” Oliver Hermanus (South Africa, France)
“The Danish Girl,” Tom Hooper (U.K., U.S.)
“Anomalisa,” Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson (U.S.)
“L’attesa,” Piero Messina (Italy)
“11 minutes,” Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland)
“Francofonia,” Aleksander Sokurov (France, Germany, Netherlands)
“The Clan,” Pablo Trapero (Argentina, Spain)
“Desde alla,” Lorenzo Vigas (Venezuela, Mexico)
“L’hermine,” Christian Vincent (France)
“Behemoth,” Zhao Liang (China, France)
OUT OF COMPETITION
“Everest,” Baltasar Kormakur (U.S., U.K.) – Opening Film
“Mr. Six,” Hu Guan (China) – Closing Film
FICTION
“Go With Me,” Daniel Alfredson (U.S., Canada, Sweden)
“Non essere cattivo,” Claudio Caligari (Italy)
“Black Mass,” Scott Cooper (U.S.)
“Spotlight,” Thomas McCarthy (U.S.)
“La calle de la Amargura,” Mexico Spain
“The Audition,” Martin Scorsese (U.S.)
NON-FICTION
“Winter on Fire,” Evgeny Afineevsky (Ukraine)
“De Palma,” Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow (U.S.)
“Janis,” Amy Berg (U.S.)
“The Event,” Sergei Loznitsa (Netherlands, Belgium)
“Gli uomini di questa città io non li conosco,” Franco Maresco (Italy)
“L’esercito piu piccolo del mondo,” Gianfranco Pannone (Vatican City State)
“Afternoon,” Tsai Ming-liang (Chinese Taipei)
“In Jackson Heights,” Frederick Wiseman (U.S.)
SPECIAL SCREENING
“Human,” Yann Arthus-Bertrand (France)
GOLDEN LION FOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENT
“La vie et rien d’autre,” Betrand Tavernier
HORIZONS
“Madame Courage,” Merzak Allouache (Algeria, France, U.A.E.)
“A Copy of My Mind,” Joko Anwar (Indonesia, South Korea)
“Pecore in erba,” Alberto Caviglia (Italy)
“Tempete,” Samuel Collardey (France)
The Childhood of a Leader,” Brady Corbet (U.K., Hungary, Belgium, France)
“Italian Gangster,” Renato De Maria (Italy)
“Wednesday, May 9,” Vahid Jalilvand, Iran
“Mountain,” Yaelle Kayam (Israel)
“A War,” Tobias Lindholm (Denmark)
“Interrogation,” Vetri Maaran (India)
“Free in Deed,” Jake Mahaffy (U.S., New Zealand)
“Boi Neon,” Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil, Uruguay, Netherlands)
“Man Down,” Dito Montiel (U.S.)
“Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?,” Hadar Morag (Israel, France)
“Un monstruo de mil cabezas,” Rodrigo Pla (Mexico)
“Mate-me por favor,” Anita Rocha Da Silveira (Brazil, Argentina)
“Taj Mahal,” Nicolas Saada (France, Belgium)
“Interruption,” Yorgos Zois (Greece, France, Croatia)

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