French and US films feature strongly in Venice Film Festival line-up
France and the US are strong presences in the selection of films vying for the coveted Golden Lion award at the 67th Venice Film Festival, to kick off September 1. One of those films is François Ozon's "Potiche", starring Gérard Depardieu (pictured).
French and US films feature strongly in the selection of 23 films vying for the coveted Golden Lion award. The films were announced at a press conference in Rome Thursday.
The Venice Film Festival is the world's oldest film competition and one of its most glamorous, drawing international movie stars and throngs of eager fans to the famed red carpet. Film insiders often say that Venice picks up films rejected from Cannes, but the festival line-up reliably counts big-name directors and hotly anticipated titles alongside less known auteurs from around the world.
The three French films in competition this year are François Ozon’s "Potiche"; "Vénus noire" from César-winning French-Tunisian Abdellatif Kechiche; and Antony Cordier’s "Happy Few".
Ozon’s “Potiche” features two legendary French stars, Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve, in a story of a man who asks his wife to replace him at work following a strike. Kechiche’s “Vénus noire” is about the “Hottentot Venus”, an African woman who was brought to France at the beginning of the 19th century and displayed as an exhibit. “Happy Few”, meanwhile, is a romantic drama starring high-profile French actors Marina Foïs, Elodie Bouchez, and Nicolas Duvauchelle.
The American films selected include Sofia Coppola’s anxiously awaited father-daughter drama “Somewhere”; “Promised Written in Water” by controversial indie filmmaker Vincent Gallo; Julian Schnabel’s historical drama “Miral”, set around the time of the creation of the state of Israel; and “Meek’s Cutoff”, a Western from Kelly Reichardt starring Michelle Williams.
Italy will compete with four films, most notably Saverio Costanzo’s adaptation of bestseller “The Solitude of Prime Numbers”, headlined by Isabella Rossellini.
Presiding over the jury that will pick the prize winners will be US filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, known for mischievous, stylishly violent, fast-talking films. One of the jury members is acclaimed French director Arnaud Desplechin (“Kings and Queen”, “A Christmas Tale”). Cinephiles are already poring over the list of selected films, speculating about which titles could potentially strike their fancy.