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.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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