HollywoodNews.com: Here’s a rundown of what’s clicking at the Venice Film Festival as potential award season contenders.
The Black Swan directed by Darren Aronofsky
Most critics and bloggers are intrigued by this film. Variety’s Justin Chang pointedly exclaims on Twitter: “In the battle of opening-night films: Venice 1, Cannes 0.”
Guy Lodge who is covering the festival for In Contention gives his guess for “Swan’s” odds:
Anne Thompson and I agreed at lunch today that the film has its work cut out for it in the top races — wild psychodrama not being the Academy’s strong point, particularly if critical opinion turns out to be split — and the extent to which voters (and audiences) warm to her vehicle will be a determining factor for Portman, given how deep the Best Actress field already looks.
Meek’s Cutoff directed by Kelly Reichardt
Guy Lodge is very excited about this film giving it four stars. The 19th century Western follows three families and two bookend characters on the Oregon Trail, “miles from a home that doesn’t exist.” Lodge is wowed by Michelle Williams. Williams matches the director’s “contained integrity” and opens out to a broader audience. It’s a film that Terrence Malick and John Steinbeck would savor. “Adventurous, ambiguous and truthful, ‘Meek’s Cutoff’ may be a marvel in itself, but it only sets up greater expectations for the future.”
Reign of Assassins directed by Su Chao-Pin and John Woo
In Contention gives this chopsocky film three stars, however, the film from their review doesn’t sound like an awards-worthy title.
“It does boast a goofy sense of humor, as well as a certain elasticity of genre as endearing as it is initially bewildering: this is the rare fighting film that takes sideways strolls into supernatural video-game territory and meet-cute rom-com,” says Lodge.
“Assassins” follows Michelle Yeoh as a killer who falls for an average laborer. Turns out the guy is more connected to her than she imagined. Along the way, she fends off others who have their sights on the mystical remains of a Buddhist monk.
Silent Souls by Aleksei Fedorchenko.
Hollywood Reporter is calling the film a ringer for the Golden Lion, the festival’s top prize. Drama is about a factory worker’s poetic and folkloric farewell to his dead wife.
The magazine further reports:
It was “Ovsyanki” (“Silent Souls”) that created the most buzz Saturday, immediately sparking speculation that it could be an early favorite for [...]