The Venice International Film Festival unveiled a starry lineup of world premieres for September — including Pablo Larrain’s “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana and Ridley Scott’s medieval drama “The Last Duel,” featuring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver
The oldest film festival in the world is kicking off its 78th edition Sept. 1 on the Lido with the premiere of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Madres paralelas,” starring Penelope Cruz. “Spencer” and “Madres paralelas” are among 21 features premiering as part of the official competition, which has often helped guide eventual Oscar best picture nominees and even winners.
Other films competing for the Golden Lion include Ana Lily Amirpour’s fantasy “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon,” with Kate Hudson and Craig Robinson; Maggie Gyllenhaal’s adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s “The Lost Daughter,” starring Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson; Paul Schrader’s crime drama “The Card Counter,” with Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish, and Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God.”
Edgar Wright’s stylish psychological thriller “Last Night in Soho,” with Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy, will also have its premiere in Venice out of competition before heading to the Toronto Film Festival.
Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” with Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons; Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of “Dune,” starring Timothée Chalamet, and “Halloween Kills” were all previously announced as part of the slate. Campion’s film, about brothers in 1920s Montana, is another competition title, and one of two Netflix films debuting at the festival.
Last year, Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” premiered at the scaled-down but still in-person festival and was awarded the Golden Lion. This year, Zhao will help decide who gets that prize as a member of the main jury led by fellow Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho, who directed “Parasite.”
Following on the heels of the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival is expected to mostly return to its full glamour in September. The festival runs through Sept. 11.
Warning: this article touches on subject matter that some readers may find distressing
Ridley Scott’s Gladiator was a huge success, if a very fictionalised account of ancient Rome – but his next historical epic looks to stick very closely to a true story.
Despite taking place in the fourteenth century, The Last Duel tells the surprisingly timely story of a rape case, the judicial proceedings that follow and the treatment of victims that speak out.
The film is based on The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France, a non-fiction book by medieval literature specialist Eric Yager that recounts the story of how the case led to the last legally sanctioned duel in France’s history.
Beware of possible spoilers for the film below – particularly on the outcome of the titular duel.
The film – co-written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck – takes place around halfway through the Hundred Years War, a series of conflicts between England and France over claims to the French crown. French knight Jean de Carrouges (played by Matt Damon in the film) took part in several campaigns against the English in the Fourteenth Century, in locations such as Scotland and Normandy.
In 1380 Carrouges married Marguerite de Thibouville (Jodie Comer), daughter of the controversial known traitor Robert de Thibouville who had sided against multiple French Kings in territorial disputes. It seems Carrouges wished to use his father-in-law’s claim to win back a valuable estate that was given to a man who would become very important later on – Jacques Le Gris (portrayed by Adam Driver).
However, Le Gris was a favourite of property owner Count Pierre d’Alençon, who dismissed Carrouges’s lawsuit. Carrouges, therefore, lost favour in the court while Le Gris became wealthy and popular while developing a womanising reputation, but nonetheless the two eventually reconnected and put an end to their feud – with Carrouges even introducing Le Gris to his wife Marguerite.
Read more at the source.