The festival runs through September 8th, closing down with the world premiere of Jean-Pierre Ameris's "L'homme qui rit." Check out our picks below:
"At Any Price"
Ramin Bahrani has been a noteworthy American filmmaker ever since his first feature, the skillful neorealist effort "Man Push Cart," but in subsequent features he has gradually increased his ambition. His progress is unquestionably on display with this drama, which stars Zac Efron as an aspiring race car driver who locks horns with his father (Dennis Quaid), a farmer potentially involved in shady business dealings. Looking beyond the star power, the movie suggests a more thematically complex work than anything else in Bahrani's career, and the time has certainly come for him to broaden his scope. [Eric Kohn]
“The Company You Keep"
Sundance icon Robert Redford makes a trip to the Venice Film Festival for the world premiere of his latest directorial effort, "The Company You Keep." Screening out of competition, the film -- adapated from Neil Gordon's 2003 novels -- follows a former Weather Underground radical who is flushed out 30 years after his activist youth by a young journalist that discovers his identity. Screening out of competition, the film offers an incredible ensemble cast in Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Cooper, Nick Nolte, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Anna Kendrick and Richard Jenkins. Here's hoping they can help Redford outdo underwhelming recent efforts like "The Conspirator" and "Lions for Lambs." [Peter Knegt]
French icon Isabelle Huppert has already had a great run this year with strong turns in festival favorites from Hong Sang-Soo ("In Another Country"), Brilliante Mendoza ("Captive") and Michael Haneke ("Amour"), so it's with great anticipation that we look forward to catching her latest vehicle, "Dormant Beauty," which boasts her meatiest role of the four features. In the drama directed by Italian helmer Marco Bellocchio ("Vincere"), Huppert plays a famous singer (and devout Catholic) who spends her days caring in her home for her daughter who is living in a vegetative state. Inspired by the true story of a woman named Eluana Englaro who spurred the euthanasia debate in Italy in 2009 after her passing, "Dormant Beauty" uses this case as a point of departure to examine the controversy via three separate narratives. [Nigel M. Smith]
"Gebo and the Shadow"
Some people think Manoel Oliveira is a vampire. Others say it's just the water in Portugal that has enabled this restless 103-year-old filmmaker to continue making movies at such an advanced stage of his career. Whatever he's doing, he shouldn't stop; one of more endearing avant garde directors bringing work to major festivals, Oliveira's "The Strange Case of Angelica" made a lot of top 10 lists in 2010. Now he's back with "Gebo and the Shadow," an adaptation of Raul Brandao's play that follows a patriarch desperately intent on saving his fugitive son. As always with Oliveira, plot only tells you part of the story. Expect something deliciously strange and philosophical from the world's oldest director, who has already begun prepping another movie to follow this one. Seriously! [Eric Kohn]
"Love Is All You Need"
After winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for her searing drama "In a Better World," Danish director Susanne Bier has switched gears completely to helm "Love Is All You Need," a romantic comedy about two families brought together for a wedding in Italy. To those familiar with Bier's recent output -- including the powerful dramas "Open Hearts" and "Brothers" -- "Love Is All You Need" might come as a huge surprise, but go back to her breakthrough film, "The One and Only," and it's clear Bier has a knack for light-hearted fare too. Reuniting with her "In a Better World" star Trine Dyrholm, "Love Is All You Need" stars Dyrholm as grief stricken woman who heads to Sorento alone to attend her daughter's wedding, after discovering that her husband had been cheating on her. It's there that she forms a bond with her daughter's soon-to-be father-in-law, Philip (Pierce Brosnan). Bier's frequent star Paprika Sheen also makes an appearance. [Nigel M. Smith]