>> So much for the magical Cinecitta of the 1930s. This year, the Venice leader will suffer a hostile takeover from big Hollywood studios.
The world's oldest film festival, announcing it will open with romcom/musical La La Land, one hit wonder, Damien Chazelle, is back for more, and got Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone to stroll along. Among the 20 films competing, a name such as Tom Ford, taking a break from the fashion world, Denis Villeneuve, taking a break from shooting the next Blade Runner, and Derek Cianfrance and his much hyped adaptation of The Light Between Oceans.
Bringing Oscar winner Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender to a remote lighthouse to find and raise a baby that isn't theirs. And expect to see a lot of Natalie Portman, back from behind the lens with her directorial debut, Portman will walk Toledo for not one, but two films, playing Jackie Kennedy in Pablo Larain's Jackie, and a supernatural psychic in Rebecca Zlotowski's Planetarium.
Hollywood enough for you? Well, according to the festival director, it's a very balanced mix.>> And there is a balance, and it is sort of a balance that we try to get from the main Hollywood films, and other films on the other side.>> The festival opens on August 31st with an homage to the late Michael Cimino, and the iconic Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami.
And even Mel Gibson is popping by with a film of his own. Hacksaw Ridge not competing for the Golden Lion. It's a very American Venice that could only close with a Western. Antoine Fuqua's remake of the Magnificent Seven, sure to lift spirits, or get horribly booed on September the 10th.