Venice early lineup includes Cronenberg, Polanski, Solondz

By Sean O’Connell Titles scheduled to screen at the 68tht Annual Venice Film Festival reached the Web this afternoon, and are sure to send film geeks (and Oscar trackers) into a frenzy.

David Cronenberg‘s “A Dangerous Method” and Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” are two of the festival’s biggest gets, with each boasting ensembles that include the likes of Jodie Foster, Viggo Mortensen, Kate Winslet, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. U.S. director Todd Solondz will compete with “Dark Horse,” starring Mia Farrow, Farrow, Christopher Walken and Selma Blair. While other Hollywood Oscar contenders are in play, from Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” and “Haywire” to Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse.”

On the international front, Aleksandr Sokurov’s highly anticipated “Faust” will screen, as will Philippe Garrel’s “Un ete brulant.”

Variety reports that Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” and George Clooney’s “Ides of March,” starring Ryan Gosling, also could be in the mix.

Finally, Variety confirms a trio of documentaries that have been booked for Venice: Cameron Crowe’s “PJ20,” about the rock band Pearl Jam; Jonathan Demme’s untitled Hurricane Katrina fil; and Fatih Akin’s “Garbage in the Garden of Eden.”

The 68th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 31 to Sept 10.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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