Friday, September 10, 2010

Venice Red Carpet: The Town, Potiche, Meek's Cutoff

Toronto kicked off last night but before we get to our coverage there -- we'll be hearing from the same folks who covered Toronto for The Film Experience last year -- Venice is starting to wrap up. Awards will be announced before you know it.

The most 'Hollywood' Venice premiere was probably The Town which brought out the happy familiar faces of Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm and last year's Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker).

Is it just me or is it always a bit odd to see Jon Hamm smiling? He's smiling so much lately and with that career you'd be smiling too. But it's so UnDraper! These townies had prophetic reason to be happy. Reviews were kind. Here's a sampling:
  • Cinema Blend "bigger by nearly every measure" [than Gone Baby Gone]
  • Newsweek "Affleck’s heist movie is part of a career turnaround so amazing that he looks like the new Clint Eastwood"
One of the most exciting things for cinephiles about film festivals is that they tend to be more auteur-focused than any other movie event.

Tykwer, Miike, Ozon and Guadagino

Tom Tykwer was promoting his latest Drei, a film about a bisexual love triangle between a long time couple and the man they both fall for (unbeknownst to each other). Obsessed With Film called it "punchy and inventive" but wasn't completely bowled over. Tykwer has yet to recapture the type of international enthusiasm that greeted his breakthrough Run Lola Run (1998) but every few years or so we get another good looking movie like Perfume or The International.

Takashi Miike
makes a new movie as often as I write a blog post. At least it seems that way. He's twice or thrice as prolific as Woody Allen. The man behind violent sensations like Audition and Ichi the Killer (and many others with less staying power) was premiering 13 Assassins.

François Ozon is one of the best directors of eye candy movies in the world with a gorgeous filmography that includes 8 Women, Water Drops on Burning Rocks and 5x2 among other gems. He's also sweet to look at offscreen. I'm just saying. The gay auteur was in Venice to premiere Potiche, his latest confection starring a starry buffet for hungry francophiles: Catherine Deneuve, Karin Viard, Sergi Lopez, Gerard Depardieu, Judith Godreche among others. Yum yum. Ultimate Addict was totally entertained citing its "snappy, hilarious dialogue" and calling Deneuve "a joy to watch" though you can cut and paste that description into every Deneuve review, n'est-ce pas?

Luca Guadagnino, Tilda's I Am Love director was also in town. He's on Tarantino's competition jury. I include him because I am nuts for I Am Love and his proposed Auntie Mame remake with Tilda in the lead is the greatest movie ever made that doesn't actually exist yet. Ohmygod I want to see that like three years ago. Please make it. If only I were a multi-millionaire and could fund the project myself. This is why I should have been born rich instead of poor. I could have supported so many worthwhile creative endeavors. (Sigh)

Michelle, Tilda, Paz and the immortal Deneuve

But we mustn't forget the actresses beautifying the red carpet.

Michelle Williams is sharing a closet with Carey Mulligan? They're like twin pixie fashionistas. Michelle was in town for her role as Kelly Reichardt's (Wendy & Lucy) main muse, this time in the western Meek's Cutoff.
  • Time Out London "just as rich, nuanced, mysterious and low key as anything she's made."
  • Guardian "far from action packed, but still gripping."

Tilda Swinton appears magically wherever there are A list festivals. It's a rule of the cinema nature ...a benevolent one, too.

Paz Vega. Remember her? Would Spanglish jog your memory or have you tried to forget it?
She's in town with the Italian drama Vallanzasca.

Anyway... we could do this all day. But the question is now who will take the prizes from Tarantino's jury? Guy Lodge has predictions. Will Natalie Portman's psycho ballerina win her the Best Actress prize? Will a non-English language picture rise to the top, forcing the media to note that not all movies are from Hollywood? Venice pulls the curtains closed tomorrow.

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