The icons of yesterday and today have an appointment at Mostra

A new generation of stars, a biopic event and a competition shaped by the presence of Netflix: the 79th Venice Film Festival is hitting hard as soon as it opens on Wednesday.

23 films are in the running for the Golden Lion, which will be presented on September 10 at a festival that is more than ever a launch pad for Hollywood in force ahead of Oscar season. Most anticipated is a fictional version of Marilyn Monroe’s life, based on a novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde, starring actress and former James Bond wife Ana de Armas. In the ten-year gestation period, the film will be shown shortly after the sixty-year-old death of the iconic actress. It’s one of four Netflix productions in competition this year: Venice has become a favorite spot for the platform, which can’t claim Cannes trophies because its films don’t hit theaters in France. For this 79th edition, the platform is also presenting the opening film “White Noise” by New Yorker Noah Baumbach. The director of ‘Frances Ha’ and ‘Marriage Story’, sometimes referred to as the new Woody Allen, is adapting the star of the letters Don DeLillo with his partner Greta Gerwig and Adam Driver.

Other notable filmmakers in the competition included Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“The Revenant”, “Birdman”) for a film about a homecoming in Mexico, Joanna Hogg (“The Souvenir”) and Martin McDonagh (“ Three billboards”). Even if the jury around the US actress Julianne Moore is almost equally composed, the competition with only eight directors remains unbalanced one year after the coronation of the French actress Audrey Diwan for “The Event” on the subject of abortion.

On the personal side, Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett, conductor in “Tar”, Catherine Deneuve, who is to receive a Golden Lion of Honour, Colin Farell and Willem Dafoe made the journey to the Lido. And a whole new generation ready to take over could taste the Lagoon’s charms: Timothée Chalamet, 26, who lit up the red carpet with ‘Dune’ last year, is celebrating his reunion with ‘Call Me By Your Name’ – Director Luca Guadagnino, in a film presented as a “cannibal romance”. Will British pop phenomenon Harry Styles, 28, make a trip to Venice Beach? He is credited with Florence Pugh from “Don’t Worry Darling”, out of competition, signed by his partner Olivia Wilde. And the star of the year could be revealed as Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink, 20, starring opposite Brendan Fraser as an obese family man in Darren Aronofsky’s (Requiem for a Dream) The Whale.

In addition to glamour, the veteran of international film festivals, founded 90 years ago, does not forget politics and questions of creative freedom: its director Alberto Barbera insisted on choosing Jafar Panahi from the two Iranians in the competition. Golden Lion for “Le Cercle” in 2000, he was recently sentenced to six years in prison for “anti-regime propaganda”. A Ukrainian documentary must also be screened out of competition if the opiate scandal in the United States is to be the focus of a shocking documentary.

France has five films in competition, including Rebecca Zlotowski’s Children of Others with Virginie Efira, Miens, a family portrait by Roshdy Zem, or even Athena, a fiction by Romain Gavras, written and produced by Ladj Ly, for a revolt in the suburbs. After the two-time Oscar-winning The Father, French filmmaker and author Florian Zeller is pursuing his Anglo-Saxon dream by offering himself to Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern and again Anthony Hopkins for Le fils, an adaptation of his play about the father. son relationships. (Belga / Belgium)

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