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Predicting The 2013 Venice Film Festival Line-Up: Are ‘Gravity,’ ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ & More On The Way?

Predicting The 2013 Venice Film Festival Line-Up: Are 'Gravity,' 'Twelve Years A Slave' & More On The Way?

We’re now about a month on from the end of the Cannes Film Festival, which means that, if we weren’t already, it’s time to start looking forward to the fall festival season. TIFF, Telluride and NYFF are all sneaking up, and just before them comes the Venice Film Festival, which celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2013.

The Italian fest has always given Cannes something of a run for its money in terms of star wattage and prestige, but it’s been even more so the last few years, with major movies like “The Master,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “Spring Breakers” and “Black Swan” getting their premieres on the Lido. Submissions for the festival closed on Friday, and while we know little of what to expect this year except for an already announced, out-of-competition screening for Paul Schrader‘s Bret Easton Ellis/Lindsay Lohan collaboration “The Canyons,” what little rumors there have been, most notably from a Variety article last week, are suggesting that this could again be a banner year for the festival. 

Ahead of the official announcement next month, and the festival itself in August (we’ll be back on the ground as in the past few years), we’re looking into our crystal ball to try and figure out who’ll competing for the Golden Lion… and who we’ll be waiting a little longer for.

Strong Contenders

“Gravity” (dir. Alfonso Cuaron)
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Even before the Variety article last week that pointed to Alfonso Cuaron‘s 3D space epic as one of the biggest movies in the running for inclusion, “Gravity” already seemed like it was a natural for a slot. For one, Warner Bros. have made a habit (though they skipped last year) of giving one of their big fall movies an out-of-competition bow in Venice, with “The Town” and “Contagion” making their way to the Lido. Furthermore, Alfonso Cuaron‘s last film, “Children Of Men” premiered at the festival in 2006. With an early October release, this would be perfectly served by the Venice bow; the biggest question is whether it plays in competition or out, and given Cuaron’s growing reputation, we expect the former.

“Twelve Years A Slave” (dir. Steven McQueen)
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt
Hotly tipped by many for Cannes, but reportedly not ready in time, Steve McQueen‘s third picture is likely to be one of the major awards contenders this fall, and unlike, say, “Saving Mr Banks” (the kind of awards movie for which reviews matter a little less), is something that could benefit from a festival bounce, particularly given the tough subject matter. And McQueen is already a familiar face, having premiered “Shame” at the fest two years ago.

“The Zero Theorem” (dir. Terry Gilliam)
Cast: Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, Tilda Swinton, Matt Damon
Terry Gilliam‘s last few films have all been film festival staples (“12 Monkeys” was the last time a movie didn’t hit one major one), but the last time Terry Gilliam won anything at a top tier festival was at the 1991 Venice Film Festival, when he picked up the Silver Lion for “The Fisher King.” Gilliam’s been back once since, with the enjoyable but compromised “The Brothers Grimm,” but he could stand a better chance of actually winning something if, as is strongly rumored, his latest, “The Zero Theorem” ends up at Venice. Toplining Christoph Waltz with appearances from Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton and Ben Whishaw, it’s another oddball sci-fi picture with definite nods to his finest hour, “Brazil,” and could be a nice homecoming for the filmmaker.

“Captain Phillips” (dir. Paul Greengrass)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener
And of course, there are some filmmakers who’ve never featured at Venice at all. Having risen to prominence through the blockbuster “Bourne” movies, Paul Greengrass‘ movies have tended to skip the big European festivals (“Bloody Sunday” premiered at Sundance, and “United 93” at Tribeca). But his latest, the Somali pirate drama “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks looks set to put the director on the circuit. With an “Argo“-aping October release, and true story inspiration, it’s well-placed for an awards season boost, and in addition to Variety suggesting it’s likely on the roster, we’ve heard whispers that this could be the opening film.

“Tom à la ferme” (dir. Xavier Dolan)
Cast:  Eric Bruneau, Lise Roy, Evelyne Brochu, Caleb Landry Jones
French-Canadian prodigy Xavier Dolan has practically been part of the furniture at Cannes in recent years, with the festival premiering all three of his films to date in various sidebar categories. But his widely-expected in-competition debut failed to materialize this year (most likely because the film wasn’t ready). Could we see “Tom à la ferme,” a thriller adapted from Michel Marc Bouchard‘s novel about a man who visits the family of his dead lover, on the Lido instead? A TIFF bow seems a given, considering his heritage, but the question is whether Venice will mark its world premiere.

“Abus de faiblesse” (dir Catherine Breillat)
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Kool Shen
Controversy magnet Catherine Breillat is a festival gadfly, but her last movie “Sleeping Beauty” premiered at Venice. As such, her new film, which follows more personal material in her relationship with con-man Christophe Rocancourt, has always felt like a natural fit for the festival (given it wasn’t ready in time for Cannes). And indeed, Variety has reported that the film’s very likely to be in the line-up, so expect to see this somewhere in the mix.

“Under The Skin” (dir. Jonathan Glazer)
Cast: Scarlett Johansson
For a filmmaker as talented as Jonathan Glazer, the man behind “Sexy Beast” and the monumentally underrated “Birth,” it’s frustrating that we don’t see more from him. It’s been particularly frustrating to know that it’s taken nearly two years for his new picture, the Michel Faber adaptation “Under The Skin,” about a cannibal in the shape of Scarlett Johansson, to come to the screen. But finally, with re-shoots done, the film’s close to completion, and it looks very likely that it’ll be unveiled at the same place that “Birth” got its premiere, nine years on. Unless another festival has snapped it up exclusively (and Variety suggests that isn’t the case), look for it on the Lido.

“Moebius” (dir. Kim Ki-Duk)
Cast: Jo Jae-hyeon, Seo Young Ju, Lee Eun-woo
Something of a staple at the festival, Kim Ki-Duk finally took the top prize at Venice in 2012, winning the Golden Lion for his bruising, divisive “Pieta” (he won the Silver Lion for “3-Iron” in 2004). His latest, “Moebius” promises to be his most controversial yet — it was banned by Korea’s censorship body, and the director is planning to cut as many as 21 of the incest-and-castration-filled scenes to get it passed. As such, it’s even more of a reason that this will be a big get for Venice, and indeed, there are heavy rumors that (the presumably uncut version of) the film will screen at the fest. 

“Night Moves” (dir. Kelly Reichardt)
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat
Kelly Reichardt‘s reputation has grown and grown with each film, and her latest, “Night Moves,” promises to get the most attention yet. Featuring a big-name cast, and a more genre-related element in its plot, a thriller revolving around eco-terrorists, this could be contemporary flavored pic that hits all the right buttons thematically and culturally. Reichardt’s last picture, “Meek’s Cutoff,” premiered at Venice, and strong rumors have pegged “Night Moves” to follow in its footsteps.

“A Most Wanted Man” (dir. Anton Corbijn)
Cast: Grigoriy Dobygin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe, Rachel McAdams
Two years ago saw “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” go on to worldwide success after bowing in Venice, and we think that another John Le Carre adaptation, “A Most Wanted Man,” could well walk that path too. From the looks of that terrific trailer a while back, it seems like it would fit right at home at the festival, and maybe as a potential opener. And certainly, Venice would love to have that array of stars out to play on the red carpet as well.

“An Enemy” (dir. Denis Villeneuve)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Isabella Rosselini, Sarah Gadon
Coming off his Oscar-nominated “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve has a busy 2013, with star-filled studio thriller “Prisoners,” and this indie, an adaptation of a novel by Jose Saramago that shares its doppelganger theme with Richard Ayoade’s upcoming “The Double.” “Prisoners” might turn up at the festival — it could fill that studio premiere slot that we’re tipping “Gravity” for — but we know for a fact that they’ve been targeting a Venice premiere for “An Enemy.” With Villeneuve’s reputation (“Incendies” premiered at the festival in 2010), and Gyllenhaal’s presence in the lead role, we can certainly see that the programmers might be tempted, at least to put the film in a sidebar or out of competition.

“Amour Fou” (dir. Jessica Hausner)
Cast: Christian Fridel, Birte Schoink
Having been behind one of the biggest critical hits of the 2009 festival with religious drama “Lourdes,” but coming away empty-handed, Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner could well be one to look out for in competition this year. Her long-awaited follow-up, which began filming in February, featuresThe White Ribbon” star Christian Fridel as Austrian writer Heinrich von Kleist, who had a passionate and ill-fated affair with Henriette Vogel. The film’s described as a “parable on the ambivalence of love,” which sounds about right from Hausner. Unless they’re holding for a bow closer to home at the Berlinale next year, this feels like a good bet.

“Devil’s Knot” (dir. Atom Egoyan)
Cast: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Alessandra Nivola, Dane DeHaan
Given his status both as a favorite at Cannes, and as a Canadian, we’d have figured Atom Egoyan‘s latest — a starry rendition of the well-traveled true crime tale of the West Memphis Three — would have been more likely to pop up at Cannes, Telluride or TIFF. While the latter’s still a virtual certainty, rumors say that “Devil’s Knot” is very much still in contention for a Venice slot, which would mark the director’s first appearance at the festival. If any of the heavily rumored candidates fall out, our gut says it’ll be this one, but it’s entirely possible it will be among the line-up. 

“Welcome To New York” (dir. Abel Ferrera)
Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Jacqueline Bisset
Causing a certain amount of fuss in Cannes without unveiling more than a few minutes of footage was the latest from provocateur Abel Ferrera, a fictionalized version of the Dominique Strausse-Kahn scandal, starring French legend Gerard Depardieu.
As you might expect from Ferrera, it looks like a sleazy exploration at the
underbelly of politics, and seeing that the director has a long history at the
festival (“The Funeral,’ “New Rose Hotel” and his most recent picture “4.44 Last Day On Earth
all premiered there), this seems like a no-brainer. It did only start
shooting in April, so it would be a fast turnaround, but that’s not
unheard of from Ferrera.

Our Sun-Hee (dir. Hong Sang-Soo)
Cast: Jung Jae-Young, Kim Sang-Jung, Lee Sun-Kyun, Jung Ju-Mi
The ever-prolific Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-Soo is best known for his association with the Cannes Film Festival, having featured there eight times altogether. But he’s not entirely unfamiliar to other festivals, premiering “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon” at Berlin earlier in the year, and “Oki’s Story” at Venice back in 2010. He’s got another in the can, “Our Sun-Hee,” which didn’t turn up on the Croisette; could he make his first in-competition appearance on the Lido instead? 

“Atilla Marcel” (dir. Sylvain Chomet)
Cast: Guillaume Fouix, Anne Le Ny, Jean-Claude Dreyfus
Breillat and Satouf weren’t the only Gallic helmers to miss out on a Cannes presence. Sylvain Chomet, the man behind “The Triplets Of Belleville” and “The Illusionist,”
is making his live-action debut with this offbeat comedy-drama, but it didn’t turn up at Cannes this
year. Having wrapped in September, it may have been a question of
readiness, but the extra few months make it a good bet for Venice.

“Jacky In Women’s Kingdom” (dir. Riad Sattouf)
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michel Hazavanicius, Vincent Lacoste, Anemone
After the international success of “The Artist,” all eyes are on anything with even a faint similarity to it, and the presence of that film’s director Michel Hazavanicius in this curious-sounding picture could surely put it on any programmer’s wishlist. Directed by Riad Sattouf, who won acclaim for his debut “The French Kissers,” it’s set in a world ruled by women. Serious gender study, or “Idiocracy“-style comedy? It’s unclear at this point, but after it failed to appear at Cannes, this feels like a good bet for the Lido; it’s the kind of movie that often ends up as the Closing Night film.

“A Los Ojos” (dir. Michel & Vicky Franco)
Cast: Monica Del Carmen
Mexican helmer Michel Franco landed on a lot of radars when “After Lucia” won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Even before it was released, the austere helmer had teamed up with his documentarian sister Vicky for this docu-drama hybrid about a social worker in Mexico City. The film wrapped in 2012, and hasn’t yet cropped up on the festival circuit, so Venice would seem to be a very good bet, with Franco perhaps making his main Competition debut.

“Quai D’Orsay” (dir. Bertrand Tavernier)
Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Niels Arestrup, Anais Demoustier, Julie Gayet
has been rather hit or miss recently, but his latest, a
graphic novel adaptation taking a look at the run-up to the Iraq war
through the eyes of French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, sounds
promising. Tavernier isn’t much of a Venice mainstay, but one of his
best films, “Round Midnight,” premiered there in 1986, and having missed
the boat at Cannes, it would make sense for the film to bow on the
Lido, unless it’s heading to Berlin instead (it’s due for a December
release in France, which doesn’t rule that out, given that festival’s more
flexible stance on world premieres.Possibilities

“Serena” (dir. Susanna Bier)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans
Again, Venice can be useful for amassing awards buzz, and given that “Serena” 1) re-teams the “Silver Linings Playbook” duo of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and 2) Doesn’t yet have a U.S. distributor, Venice would be the perfect launching pad for this. The film wrapped over a year ago, and director Bier was at the festival last year with “Love Is All You Need.” The only thing giving us pause is the total lack of buzz on the picture. But with the film looking to roll out internationally from the end of September, it’ll surely show up either here or at TIFF. 

“Oldboy” (dir. Spike Lee)
Cast: Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L Jackson
films in the category above are more than enough to fill the
English-language quotient of the festival after it slimmed down (there
were only four English-language movies in competition last year, and
only a dozen of the total 60), so any others that haven’t been so
strongly rumored should be taken with something of a pinch of salt. But
with Spike Lee being such a favorite at Venice — two of his last
three movies premiered there, and he got a lifetime achievement prize
last year — one shouldn’t rule out an appearance from “Oldboy,” his return to studio fare for the first time since “Miracle At St. Anna.” As a remake of Park Chan-Wook‘s beloved film, there’s a lot of curiosity around the film, and an October release would set it up nicely.

“The Double” (dir. Richard Ayoade)
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Noah Taylor, Wallace Shawn
After a banner year in 2011 with ‘TInker Tailor,’ “Shame,” “Wuthering Heights” and others, British cinema was barely present on the Lido last year. But with the likes of “Under The Skin” and “A Most Wanted Man” in the mix, there could be a revival this time around, and another strong candidate to join them could be “The Double.” Richard Ayoade‘s follow-up to the acclaimed “Submarine.” That film premiered at TIFF, and that seems likely this time around, but given his rising star status, and the impressive cast he’s assembled for his Dostoyefsky adaptation, he’s likely to be on many other festival wish-lists too. Star Jesse Eisenberg‘s presence in likely competition film “Night Moves” isn’t likely to be a problem — but perhaps if “An Enemy” gets in first, its thunder could be stolen.

“The Rover” (dir. David Michod)
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce, Scoot McNairy, Nash Edgerton
It hasn’t yet been mentioned by Variety or many others, but we’ve heard whispers that this post-apocalyptic Australian picture has been targeting a possible Venice bow. Having been the toast of Sundance with “Animal Kingdom,” Michod’s latest would certainly be a coup even without Robert Pattinson in the cast. But that said, the film didn’t wrap too long ago, and there’s little tradition in recent years of Australian cinema ending up at the festival. TIFF may be a better bet for this one.

“In The Basement” (dir. Ulrich Seidl)
With his “Paradise” trilogy now done, having completed the major festival trifecta of Cannes, Venice and Berlin, suddenly-prolific Austrian helmer could be forgiven for taking something of a breather. But in fact, he’s spent several years working on this documentary about the relationship between his countrymen and his their cellars. It’s allegedly close to completion, and with Seidl having won the Silver Lion for “Dog Days” in 2001, and the Special Jury Prize last year for “Paradise: Faith,” there’s every chance he might return to the Lido if the film’s ready in time (though we suspect it’s likely to feature in a sidebar).

“The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby” (dir. Ned Benson)
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis, Isabelle Huppert
As we said pre-Cannes, the two-part nature of this film (showing the dissolution of a relationship from the perspective of the wife and the husband, as played by Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy) makes it an irresistible proposition for a festival, even without the superb cast that first-time director Ned Benson has assembled (also including Viola Davis, Isabelle Huppert, Ciaran Hinds, William Hurt, Archie Panjabi, Jess Weixler, Nina Arianda and Bill Hader). It’s relatively rare for first-time American helmers to debut in competition at Venice, but like last year’s “Disconnect,” this could be a special out-of-competition presentation, unless Telluride or TIFF have already staked their claim.

“Salinger” (dir. Shane Salerno)
Harvey Weinstein has high hopes for this documentary about the reclusive author of “Catcher In The Rye,” and having touted it at Cannes, we’re sure he’ll use one of the fall festival to launch it ahead of awards season. Given the boost given to “Bad 25” and “Stories We Tell” on the Lido last year, Venice is a good a place as any, although our gut says that Telluride could be more likely.

“White Bird In A Blizzard” (dir. Gregg Araki)
Cast: Eva Green, Shailene Woodley, Christopher Meloni, Gabourey Sidibe
While not as associated with the festival as someone like Spike Lee, Gregg Araki has had some of his greatest successes in Venice, with “The Doom Generation” and “Mysterious Skin” unspooling on the Lido (he also served as Orrizonti jury president a few years back). With “White Bird In A Blizzard,” his latest, looking to be on the more critically-respectable side of his output, and being a European production, it would make a lot of sense for him to return this year. The film should be ready, so the biggest question is whether it makes the cut with a lot of English-language pictures already out there.

“Open Windows” (dir. Nacho Vigalondo)
Cast: Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey, Neil Maskell, Ivan Gonzalez
While it has less of an emphasis on midnight-type fare than many festivals, there’s always a couple of more genre-y movies among the line-up at Venice, and one definite potential would be “Open Windows.” The English-language debut of hotly-tipped “Time Crimes” helmer Nacho Vigalondo, it’s a concept found-footage horror filmed entirely through a laptop camera, with a decidedly odd cast. It seems a strong possibility for TIFF Midnight Madness and/or Fantastic Fest — the bigger question is whether Vigalondo would be on Venice’s radar, especially after underwhelming and underseen second feature “Extraterrestrial.” 

“Rush” (dir. Ron Howard)
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara
Ron Howard‘s
films tend not to be festival fare, but with its Formula 1 subject
matter, his promising biopic of James Hunt and Niki Lauda could probably
benefit from a launch at a European festival rather than in
F1-apathetic North America. With the film rolling out in Europe from
September 13th, it seems assured that it’ll play at TIFF, but don’t rule
out an out-of-competition slot on the Lido.

“Therese” (dir. Charlie Stratton)
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton, Jessica Lange
The period drama possibilities are looking relatively thin on the ground for the festival this year, ‘Twelve Years A Slave” aside, but with the movie opening in the U.S. in September, this adaptation of “Therese Raquin” looks likely to figure into the festival season at some point. We suspect it’ll be overruled by higher-profile competition when it comes to a Venice slot, so TIFF feels more likely.

“Filth” (dir. Jon S. Baird)
Cast: James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent
This anarchic Irvine Welsh-adapted take on “Bad Lieutenant” has been done for a while, and we’re hearing good things, but the release has been held back until the end of September in the U.K., which could point to a festival bow of some kind. It doesn’t immediately strike us as a Venice kind of movie, but stranger things have happened. Though perhaps a more raucous midnight crowd in Austin or Toronto will be a better fit.

“At Berkeley” (dir. Frederick Wiseman)
The veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman is something of a staple on the fall festival circuit, and premiered “La Danse” and “Crazy Horse” in Venice in 2009 and 2011. His latest, several years in the making, focuses on the Californian university, and while that might make a U.S. bow more logical, we’re pretty sure it’ll feature somewhere on the Lido.Long Shots

“Snowpiercer” (dir. Bong Joon-Ho)
Cast: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell
A few weeks ago, we’d have had this as one of the surest of possibilities — Joon-Ho is one of the most celebrated filmmakers working at the moment, and his starry English language debut was tipped widely for Cannes, though ultimately wasn’t ready. But it’s been announced that the film will open back in Korea in August, and with Venice’s insistence that virtually all of its films are world premieres, that would seem to rule “Snowpiercer” out. Look for it at TIFF instead.

“Out Of The Furnace” (dir. Scott Cooper)
Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson
This much-anticipated crime tale from the “Crazy Heart” director has been in the can for a while (it was nearly released in 2012), but is finally close to seeing the light of day. A fall festival premiere makes a lot of sense, even now the release has moved back to November, but there haven’t been many rumors linking this to Venice so far, and with the English-language line-up already stacked, Telluride feels more likely.

“Philomena” (dir. Stephen Frears)
Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Simone Lahbib
With so many Oscar potentials on his books this year, you’d think Harvey Weinstein would want to launch one at Venice, and perhaps the most likely bet is that he tries to follow the passage of Stephen Frears‘ “The Queen” for Frears’ new picture — the one that led from the Lido to the Oscar podium. The film’s a relatively recent pick up for Weinstein, and Frears is a familiar face at Venice — but could his recent run of subpar product hurt his chances?

“The Wind Rises” (dir. Hayao Miyazaki)
Cast: Hideaki Anno, Jun Kunimura, Mirai Shida, Hidetoshi Nishijima
Given its near-complete status, and that the Japanese animator’s last film “Ponyo
was in competition at Venice, you’d again have figured that Miyazaki’s
latest would be a shoo-in. But again, the movie opens in Japan next
month, which makes Venice much less likely. The chances of a special
out-of-competition screening are a little higher than with “Snowpiercer,” but unless Alberto Barbera is loosening his rule, look for Miyazaki to get its Western premiere elsewhere.

“Her” (dir. Spike Jonze)
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara
Spike Jonze managed a Competition slot first time at bat with “Being John Malkovich,” and won a pair of awards there. Since then, Jonze has pretty much skipped the festival circuit (“Adaptation” went to Berlin after opening in the U.S., and “Where The Wild Things Are” went straight to wide release), but many thought that 14 years on, he might return to Venice with new film “Her.” But Variety have indicated that while it was once a possibility, it’s probably not happening. We reckon it’ll either play at NYFF or, maybe more likely, just find its way to theaters (though, the high concept may need some good festival buzz to give it a leg up).

“A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence” (dir. Roy Andersson)
Cast: Nisse Vestblom, Holger Andersson
The latest film from cult Swedish helmer Roy Andersson has been patiently waited on by many, and was even seen as a possibility for Cannes this year by some. But word is that the film won’t be ready until the Croisette in 2014, so Venice seems very unlikely at this point.

“Knight Of Cups”/Untitled Malick (dir. Terrence Malick)
Cast: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling
It’s always hard to know when a new Terrence Malick movie is going to show up, especially given that he’s working on several projects simultaneously at the moment. But given it’s only a year since the first part of his linked double-header shot, and given that the (unfairly) tepid reception to “To The Wonder” at Venice last year helped to make it his least successful and well received picture, we’d be very surprised if he was back on the Lido so soon. That said, never count it out.

“Foxcatcher” (dir. Bennett Miller)
Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller
One of our most anticipated of the rest of the year, this was apparently eying a potential Venice premiere at one point, but it now looks unlikely. “Capote” bowed at Telluride, and “Moneyball” at TIFF, so look for one of those two, or NYFF, to provide the premiere (if it’s ready in time, as filming is still ongoing).

Southcliffe” (dir. Sean Durkin)
Cast: Eddie Marsan, Sean Harris, Kaya Scodelario, Rory Kinnear
While they haven’t been as high-profile as some of Cannes’ HBO premieres, Venice has highlighted some long-form TV work in the last few years, with “Mildred Pierce” and Kiyoshi Kurosawa‘s “Penance” featuring. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but we wonder if this four-part UK miniseries from “Martha Marcy May Marlene” helmer Sean Durkin could end up getting some kind of screening. Last we heard, it’s set to air in August or September in the UK, so a Venice screening could set that up nicely. A long-shot, probably, but worth considering. 

“Diana” (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel)
Cast: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Douglas Hodge, Geraldine James
With a UK release at the end of September, and the success of “The Queen” as a precedent, many were tipping royal biopic “Diana
for a Venice slot, but Variety have suggested that it ain’t happening.
We’d like to point to the lousy trailer as a reason why, but it’s not
like a lack of quality stopped “W.E.” from screening there a few years back.

“The Assassin” dir. Hou Hsiao-Hien
Cast: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Satoshi Tsumubaki, Jack Kao, Nikki Hsieh
A veteran of preview pieces like this, Hou Hsiao-Hien makes his first entry into the martial arts genre “The Assassin.” After years of delays, filming finally got underway last October, wrapping up in April, but that’s no guarantee that the film’s done by now. And given that he’s a six-time Cannes entrant, it’d be a surprise to see him in Venice, though he did win the Golden Lion in 1989 for “A City Of Sadness,” and more recently premiered “Cafe Lumiere” on the Lido. Cannes 2014 is probably the better bet. 

“The Young & Prodigious Spivet” (dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
Cast: Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Callum Keith Rennie, Judy Davis
A new film from the director of “Amelie” is certainly an event, not least his return to English-language filmmaking. But while the film was apparently due to be completed in time for the fall festival season, we’re just not sure that it’s likely to be at Venice; it’s high-profile enough that word might have leaked out by now, and Jeunet has little history with Venice besides an appearance on the jury in 1995. Our money’s on a “Life Of Pi“/”Hugo” style debut at NYFF for the 3D movie. Or perhaps at TIFF to give a nod to the Canucks who helped shoot the movie in Montreal.

“Nymphomaniac” (dir. Lars Von Trier)
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Willem Dafoe
One of the most hotly anticipated films of the year, and touted by some for Cannes despite Von Trier’s controversy the last time he was at the festival, people still have an eye on the potential of “Nymphomaniac” premiering in Venice. But the producer has already made clear that extensive visual effects mean that the film won’t be ready much before its December release in Denmark.

Technically Possible, But More Likely To Turn Up Elsewhere:The Family,” “Grace Of Monaco,” “Le Weekend,” “How I Live Now,” “The Counselor,” “Lilting,” “The Fifth Estate,” “Two Faces Of January,” “August: Osage County,” “Labor Day,” “Monuments Men,” “You Are Here,” “Dallas Buyer’s Club,” “Dom Hemingway,” “Calvary,” “Can A Song Save Your Life,” “Frank,” “God Help The Girl,” “Beauty & The Beast,” “Chavez,” “33 Dias,” “The Butler.”

Thoughts? Anything you want to see in Venice, or any titles you think will surprise? Let us know below!

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