A musical with Ryan Gosling, a Mel Gibson war drama, a Denzel-Pratt revamped Western, and even the Pope, looking suspiciously like Jude Law. This year's Venice International Film Festival is definitely international, opening on Wednesday to a star-studded ensemble straight from Hollywood's A list. Back to the glory days when the oldest festival in the world was seen as a launchpad for the awards season.
Reuters' Sarah Mills is in Venice, with a long list of must-sees for the next couple of weeks.>> There are plenty of huge films to look forward to at this year's Venice Film Festival. Kicking things off, it's Damien Chazelle's musical, La La Land. Then we'll be seeing fashion designer turned film maker, Tom Ford, back for a second time in Venice, with Nocturnal Animals.
Jude Law will be here. He's the star of a TV series called, The Young Pope, where he plays an American cardinal. We'll see how that goes down. And it just keeps going. Right at the very end, we have The Magnificent Seven, coming here straight from Toronto. It'll close the festival with none other than Denzel Washington set to appear.
So it seems it's so far, so good for the Venice Film Festival in terms of what the critics are saying. Variety told Reuters that they're excited about the number of US stars that we'll be seeing here. The likes of Mel Gibson, and Emma Stone, and Amy Adams, and not only that, there's a lot of strong female roles featured in the films this year.
So we'll be seeing Amy Adams twice, we'll be seeing Natalie Portman playing Jackie, as well as lots of strong female directors as well. So big US stars and lots of female talent headed here to Venice.>> But as the festival preps the red carpet, bolstering security measures are top priority for organizers.
Police presence and controls have increased following attacks in Europe, and even the opening gala dinner has been canceled, as a sign of respect for the 292 victims of last week's deadly earthquake. British director Sam Mendes will head this year's jury. The festival runs until September 10th.