News and Photos From Venice Film Festival – this year’s Venice Film Festival (the 70th) is now in its 5th day and the two big talking points are the retirement announcement from Hayao Miyazaki and the buzz surrounding UK director Stephen Frears new movie Philomena.
The 72-year old Japanese animation maestro Miyazaki announced his retirement from movie making after the Venice screening of his latest (and we know now last) movie The Wind Rises. He has been described as Japan’s answer to Walt Disney and some of his earlier movies such as the brilliant Spirited Away are already seen as animated classics.
The movie that had got the audiences and critics most excited over the first few days of this year’s Venice Film Festival was Sandra Bullock and George Clooney space thriller Gravity. Although Clooney puts in a great performance it is Sandra Bullock who got the viewers most excited with murmurs already going round that her performance as first time astronaut Dr Ryan Stone may well put her in line for a second Oscar.
She had been known early in her career for being something of a lightweight performer but it seems as if that was just because of the roles she was handed as her fantastic performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy in 2009’s The Blind Side proved.
The other movie surrounded by chatter of Oscar wins is the new Stephen Frears and Steve Coogan production Philomena. This stars the brilliant Dame Judi Dench as Philomena Lee, a woman trying to track down her long-lost son who she had adopted and sent to America 50 years earlier. Unsurprisingly with this sort of powerful role it is Dame Judi’s name that is being mentioned most often in connection with an Academy Award but the movie itself is looking like an early Oscar possible as is Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope’s screenplay.
Dame Judi showed her younger actress colleagues how to show off your legs and still look classy as she climbed the red carpet stairs in her stylish cream coloured coat dress.
Other Venice Film Festival news over the last few hours includes the no-show of Lindsay Lohan for the opening of The Canyons. The actress says that this was due to her continued focus on her own health and wellbeing following her recent court-ordered stint in rehab. It seems that Lindsay’s non-appearance was not just a surprise for the Venice audiences but also the movie’s director Paul Schrader who said ‘she was supposed to be here, she said she would be, but she is not.’
Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe did however turn up for the premiere of his new movie Kill Your Darlings. In the movie Radcliffe is a world away from his innocent boy wizard role as he takes on the part of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. This sees him have to shoot several gay sex scenes and shows he has grown up and left his child actor days well behind. And all without a hint of twerking or the use of a foam finger!
The 70th Venice Film Festival continues until the 7th September.