Ten buzz films from 2012 Venice festival
The Venice film festival ends on Saturday with the awards ceremony. Following is a list of 10 films which generated buzz on the Lido waterfront, both positive and negative.
At Any Price
The movie about big agri-business and the pursuit of profits at all costs is notable for a central performance by Zac Efron, the former Disney teen idol who sees his fledgling career in movies at a crossroads.
Spike Lee presents more than two hours of original footage and interviews in a documentary about the making of Michael Jackson’s seminal 1987 album “Bad”, and live performance segments remind the world why he was called the “king of pop”.
The Company You Keep
Robert Redford directs and stars in the political thriller, about a man whose past as a leftwing radical in 1970s America comes back to haunt him. Shia LaBeouf and Julie Christie also have major roles in an all-star cast.
Michael Shannon excels as real-life mob hitman Richard Kuklinski, who murdered more than 100 people before being caught and sent to jail, where he died in 2006. Winona Ryder plays his wife in the movie directed by Ariel Vromen.
Paul Thomas Anderson gets memorable performances from leading men Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. By centring the plot on the foundation of Scientology, the director tackles a subject many of his peers would consider taboo.
Every film festival needs its “wow” moment, and Kim Ki-duk’s brutal South Korean story of love and revenge came closest to providing it. A loan shark has his world turned upside down when a woman appears on his doorstep claiming to be his mother.
Sleeping Beauty (Bella
Director Marco Bellocchio re-tells the final days in the life of Eluana Englaro, a woman at the centre of a 2009 right-to-die case which divided opinion across Catholic Italy. It is seen as a contender for the Golden Lion for best picture.
Harmony Korine livened up proceedings with a raucous tale of four girls who travel to Florida for a mid-term spring break. Teenagers take their clothes off, drink heavily, take drugs, have sex ... and that is before gang warfare breaks out.
Saudi Arabia’s first female director Haifaa Al Mansour brought a popular tale of a young girl whose enthusiasm and enterprise brings her up against social restrictions in the conservative kingdom.
To the Wonder
Terrence Malick has a habit of dividing critics, and he did it again with this impressionistic, virtually dialogue-free story of a couple falling in and out of love. Some marvelled at its ingenuity, others derided it as pretentious and dull.