Film fest goes big on Hollywood

ROME • The Venice Film Festival revealed a star-studded line-up for its 72nd annual edition on Wednesday with top Hollywood names taking centre stage.

Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl, starring Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, is one of 21 films in competition at the world's oldest film festival, which runs from Sept 2 to 12.

There is already a buzz about Redmayne's performance as one of the first known people to undergo a sex-change operation.

Cary Fukunaga's Beasts Of No Nations, a child-soldier drama with Idris Elba, and Drake Doremus' Equals, a futuristic love story with Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, also compete.

Italian director Luca Guadagnino comes to the festival with the thriller A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Ralph Fiennes, and Charlie Kaufman, writer of the 1999 cult fantasy comedy Being John Malkovich, brings the stop-motion animation Anomalisa.

Also in competition is Chinese director Zhao Liang's documentary, Behemoth.

The festival will open with Everest, an out-of-competition 3-D thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley and based on the true story of the 1996 disaster on the world's highest mountain.

Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp as criminal-turned-FBI informant Whitey Bulger, will be screened out of competition. So will Spotlight, a story of how the Boston Globe revealed a Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal, starring Michael Keaton.

On a lighter note, Martin Scorsese's comedic short film The Audition promises to be a treat, starring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as themselves.

Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, 2013) will head the jury, which includes Hollywood actresses Elizabeth Banks and Diane Kruger.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2015, with the headline 'Film fest goes big on Hollywood'. Print Edition | Subscribe