Venice Film Festival 2018: Top seven films to look out for
This year, the 75th Venice Film Festival showcases some of the world’s best cinematic talent with an eccentric lineup of characters spanning from cowboy killers to quick-tempered queens. While Academy Award-winning filmmaker Damien Chazelle steps away from the music, Bradley Cooper takes to the stage and the director’s chair. Though there is undoubtedly – and disappointingly – a shortage of women behind the camera (with only one female filmmaker in competition), there is a veritable feast of female talent to be seen on screen. Here’s what to look out for this year.
The much-awaited new feature by Chazelle, First Man is a biopic charting NASA’s mission to put a man on the moon from the years 1961 to 1969. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy as Neil and Janet Armstrong and gives a visceral account of the struggles and sacrifices of the astronaut as he attempts – and achieves – one of the biggest feats in the history of humanity. The story is based on the book by James R. Hansen and with a screenplay by Spotlight writer and Academy Award- winner Josh Singer, it promises to be a riveting journey.
Luca Guadagnino’s latest film Suspiria is a remake of the 1977 supernatural horror of the same name. Featuring an impressive cast of actresses including Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton and Chloë Grace Moretz, the movie centres around a world-renowned dance troupe and the nightmare that unfurls when a darkness overcomes them. Jessica Harper, who played the lead in the original film, takes on a different role in the revival.
Another film offering an all-star female lineup, The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, takes us back to the 18th century and into the midst of Britain’s war with France. An ailing and short-tempered Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) sits on the throne, aided by her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz). When new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, Sarah takes the young girl under her wing and as she starts to fill in as the queen’s companion, the maid is able to realise her ambitions.
The Sisters Brothers
From female friendship to the bond between brothers, French director Jacques Audiard’s new dark comedy western ramps up the testosterone, following the notorious assassin siblings Eli and Charlie Sisters (John C. Reilley and Joaquin Phoenix) as they trail the prospector who stole from their boss (Jake Gyllenhall). The film is set in 1851 Oregon and the story is based on Patrick DeWitt’s novel of the same name.
A Star Is Born
As well as portraying the lead, Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut with musical romantic drama A Star is Born. The actor plays a seasoned heavy-drinking musician who discovers and falls in love with a struggling but talented young artist, played by singer Lady Gaga in her first feature role. A take on the classic romance, this the third remake of the original 1937 film, following a musical in 1954 and a less successful rock musical adaptation in 1976.
In his most personal film to date, Mexican writer and director Alfonso Cuarón tells the story of two domestic workers in 1970s Mexico city as they help a mother of four during the extended absence of her husband. Roma is filmed in black and white and aims to provide an intimate and poignant portrait of a familial struggle made worse by political strife, as well as paying homage to the matriarchy that shaped the auteur’s worldview.
This musical drama by Brady Corbet charts the evolution of Celeste (Natalie Portman) as she rises unexpectedly from a national tragedy into superstardom. The story spans 18 years from 1999 to 2017, filtering cultural shifts through the eyes of the pop icon. The film also stars Jude Law, Raffey Martin (as a younger protagonist), Stacy Martin and Jennifer Ehle.