This is the question that inevitably arises at the beginning of each Festival: how will it be? A question that, equally inevitably, cannot be answered at the moment. Because a program cannot be judged by the names that compose it. Of course, here in Venice there are important directors from whom it is legitimate to expect something good but who may instead – borrowing a football metaphor – not be at the best of their form, as well as pleasant surprises from emerging or less known names. . But beyond what the general quality of this exhibition will be, the most important question is another, namely whether cinema has finally managed to get out of that impasse which the pandemic has forced it to. So far it has moved slowly, a sensation confirmed in May also by Cannes, and what fans expect from the Lido is instead a decisive turnaround.
Having said that, in the most important section, 23 films in competition and 19 out of competition await us, film material for all tastes. Let’s start with the five Italians competing for the golden lion: ‘Bones and all ‘, in spite of the title, the new film, very cannibal, by the very Italian Luca Guadagnino who directs once again Timothée Chalamet; ‘The lord of the ants’ by Gianni Amelio with Luigi Lo Cascio and Elio Germano on the Braibanti case, poet and anti-fascist partisan condemned in the sixties for having plagiarized a twenty-one-year-old young man, in fact a trial of his homosexuality; ‘The immensity’ by Emanuele Crialese with Penelope Cruz; ‘Clear’ with which after Nico of the Velvet Underground and the youngest daughter of Marx Susanna Nicchiarelli continues her gallery of women with the saint of Assisi and her dream of freedom and ‘Monica’ by Andrea Pallaoro, another Italian film shot in the United States like that of Guadagnino which stars a transsexual.
On the foreign front of competitors to the Lion on paper there are several. Long awaited is ‘Blonde’, a biopic about Marilyn Monroe from the book by Joyce Carol Oates. The greatest sexy icon of the twentieth century is played by Ana de Armas in an impressive physical and aesthetic superimposition to the character. The film seems to spare nothing, neither the love problems nor the drug addiction faced in private life. A lot is counted on the film that opens the exhibition: ‘White Noise’ by Noah Baumbach with the stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwick that ensure the right dose of glamor from the first red carpet, adaptation of a novel by Don De Lillo that tells the attempts of a contemporary American family in facing the conflicts of everyday life. Then the return of Darren Aronofskythe director of ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘The Black Swan’, with ‘The Whale’ the story of a man with a serious obesity problem who tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter.
Other titles that intrigue are ‘The son’ by Florian Zeller (the director of ‘The father’ which earned the Oscar ad Anthony Hopkins also present here next to Laura Dern and Vanessa Kirby; ‘The banshees of Inisherin’ which marks the return to Venice of the English playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh that he conquered everyone at the Lido five years ago with ‘Three posters in Ebbing, Missouri’; ‘Bard’ of the Academy Award Alejandro Inarritua comedy about a journalist’s existential crisis; ‘Tar’ by Todd Field with Cate Blanchett in the role of a conductor and ‘No bears’, a film shot clandestinely by the Iranian director Jafar Panahi currently in prison for ideological reasons awaiting trial.
Among the out-of-competition ones, watch out for Paolo Virzì with his Italian all-star cast – Claudia Pandolfi, Silvio Orlando, Andrea Mastandrea and Monica Bellucci – protagonists of ‘Drought’, at the return of the great Walter Hillthe director of the warriors of the night, with ‘Dead for a dollar’, western with Christoph Waltz and Willem Dafoe ea ‘Master Gardener ‘ from Paul Schrader (this year Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement together with Catherine Deneuve).
From the out of competition comes the probable scandal film that never fails in a film review: rumors have identified him in ‘Don’t worry Darling’psychological thriller directed by Olivia Wilde with the famous singer Harry Stylesex-One direction, who is none other than her boyfriend: the very explicit sex scenes it contains will further increase the temperature of this summer, which is already so hot.