The Italian festival is during its 74th edition once again debuting a number of Oscar contenders.
In its 74th year, the Venice Film Festival is once again debuting a slate of potential Oscar contenders from top directors, including George Clooney, Darren Aronofsky and Guillermo del Toro.
Festival director Alberto Barbera on Thursday unveiled the lineup for this year at the Cinema Moderno in Rome.
“I’m very satisfied,” Barbera said about the lineup. “I have to say that I am 97 percent satisfied in the sense that there are only maybe two or three films that we wanted to have for the festival, and we couldn’t, because they will go to other festivals. So all the films that we saw and that we wanted to have are in the lineup of this year’s festival.”
As previously announced, Alexander Payne’s satire Downsizing, starring Matt Damon, will open the fest in competition. The film is about a family that seeks a better life through shrinking. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Laura Dern and Jason Sudeikis.
Vying for the Golden Lion this year, from a jury led by Annette Bening, are 21 world premieres.
Artist and activist Ai Weiwei will enter the competition with his documentary about the current refugee crisis, Human Flow.
Darren Aronofsky, who presided over the Venice jury in 2011, will bring his eagerly-anticipated horror film Mother! to the festival. Mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Ed Harris, centers around a relationship being tested after the arrival of unwelcome visitors.
Damon will be pulling double-duty at the fest as he will also star in George Clooney’s Suburbicon, written by Clooney and the Coen Brothers, about a family morally descending after a home invasion goes very wrong. It also stars Coen favorites Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin.
Guillermo del Toro will debut his other-worldly Cold War era fairytale The Shape of Water, starring Michael Shannon, Sally Hawkins…