The Venice Film Festival’s 2023 edition banked on star-studded films by US directors like David Fincher, Sophia Coppola and Bradley Cooper, despite the ongoing strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, as it unveiled the line-up on July 25.
Apart from the Hollywood movies, a slew of films by Asian, Latin American and European masters will be launched from the festival, which will be hosted from August 30 to September 9.
Director-actor Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, which is a biopic of composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, Adam Driver-Penélope Cruz-starrer race-car drama Ferrari and David Fincher’s psychological action thriller The Killer starring Michael Fassbender will be competing for the prestigious Golden Lion award at the festival.
Other high-profile US films competing for the festival’s top award are Sophia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley biopic Priscilla starring Cailee Spaeny, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s sci-fi comedy Poor Things with Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo, and Ava DuVernay’s drama Origin. However, none of the stars are likely to attend the event unless the actors’ strike is resolved.
Non-US films competing for the Golden Lion include Agnieszka Holland’s refugee drama The Green Border, Matteo Garreno’s migration drama Io Capitano, Italian movie industry drama Finally Dawn with Lily James and French director Luc Besson’s DogMan.
Earlier, the 80th edition of the festival saw its originally announced opening film — Luca Guadagnino’s sports drama Challengers starring Zendaya — drop out after it was forced to delay its release date. Major Hollywood stars are also expected to give the festival a miss amidst the strike.
Festival director Alberto Barbera admitted Venice had been “taken a bit by surprise” by the strike. He, however, was confident that the impact had been “very modest”, saying that Challengers had been the only film “lost”.
Here is the list of films competing for the Golden Lion award at the 80th Venice Film Festival:
Comandante (opening film) (It) Dir. Edoardo De Angelis
The Promised Land (Den-Ger-Swe) Dir. Nikolaj Arcel
Dogman (Fr) Dir. Luc Besson
La Bete (Fr-Ger) Dir. Bertrand Bonello
Hors-Saison (Fr) Dir. Stephane Brize
Enea (It) Dir. Pietro Castellitto
Maestro (US) Dir. Bradley Cooper
Priscilla (US-It) Dir. Sofia Coppola
Finally Dawn (It) Dir. Saverio Costanzo
Lubo (It-Switz) Dir. Giorgio Diritti
Origin (US) Dir. Ava DuVernay
The Killer (US) Dir. David Fincher
Memory (Mex-US) Dir. Michel Franco
Io Capitano (It-Bel) Dir. Matteo Garrone
Evil Does Not Exist (Jap) Dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi
The Green Border (Czech-Pol-Bel) Dir. Agnieszka Holland
Die Theorie Von Allem (Ger-Austria-Switz) Dir. Timm Kroger
Poor Things (UK-Ire-US) Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
El Conde (Chile) Dir. Pablo Larrain
Ferrari (US) Dir. Michael Mann
Adagio (It) Dir. Stefano Sollima
Woman Of (Pol-Swe) Dir. Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert
Holly (Bel-Neth-Lux-Fr) Dir. Fien Troch
The festival has also assembled a number of well-known names for its non-competition programme, including Richard Linklater’s Hit Man, based on the true life story of a Texas policeman who went undercover as a contract killer, Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which is a 39-minute adaptation of a Roald Dahl short story, and William Friedkin’s new adaptation of Herman Wouk’s classic novel The Caine Mutiny.
Films by Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, both of whom have been dogged by controversy in recent years, will also be screened out of competition at Venice this year.
Here is the list of fiction films to be screened at the 80th Venice Film Festival:
Society Of The Snow (closing film) (Sp-Uru-Chil) Dir. JA Bayona
Coup De Chance (Fr-UK) Dir. Woody Allen
The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar (US) Dir. Wes Anderson
The Penitent (It) Dir. Luca Barbareschi
L’Ordine Del Tempo (It-Bel) Dir. Liliana Cavani
Vivants (Fr-Bel) Dir. Alix Delaporte
Welcome To Paradise (Fr) Dir. Leonardo Di Costanzo
Daaaaaali! (Fr) Dir. Quentin Dupieux
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (US) Dir. William Friedkin
Making Of (Fr) Dir. Cedric Kahn
Aggro Dr1ft (US) Dir. Harmony Korine
Hit Man (US) Dir. Richard Linklater
The Palace (It-Switz-Pol-Fr) Dir. Roman Polanski
Snow Leopard (China) Dir. Pema Tseden
Here is the list of non-fiction films out of Competition at the 80th Venice Film Festival:
Amor (It-Lith) Dir. Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri
Frente A Guernica (Versione Integrale) (It) Dirs. Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi
Hollywoodgate (US) Dir. Ibhraim Nash’at
Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus (Jap) Dir. Neo Sora
Enzo Jannacci Vengo Anch’io (It) Dir. Giorgio Verdelli
Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros (US) Dir. Frederick Wiseman
Out Of Competition - series
D’Argent Et De Sang (Eps 1-12) (Bos & Her) Dirs. Xaviere Giannoli, Frederic Planchon
I Know Your Soul (Eps 1-2) (Fr-Bel) Cre. Jasmila Zbanic, Damir Ibrahimovic; dirs. Alen Drljevic, Nermin Hamzagic
La Parte Del Leone: Una Storia Della Mostra Dirs. Baptiste Etchegaray, Giuseppe Bucchi