ITALY – VENICE
As the 80th Venice Film Festival gets underway from August 30 to September 9, we take a close-up look at three particularly eagerly awaited films.
LA BÊTE BY BERTRAND BONELLO
We left Bertrand Bonello with a surprising little film, Coma, made in secret during confinement. This time, the author of L’Apollonide and Saint Laurent returns with an ambitious science-fiction film set over almost two centuries, between 1910 and 2044: La Bête. Freely adapted from Henry James’ The Beast in the Jungle, this melodrama coproduced by Xavier Dolan, stars Léa Seydoux and George MacKay (1917) – in a role originally written for Gaspard Ulliel – and promises a tale of love and artificial intelligence between France and California.
PRISCILLA BY SOFIA COPPOLA
While Cannes offered us Baz Luhrmann’s thundering Elvis in 2022, Venice unveils the female answer to the King’s portrait. With Priscilla, the director of Marie-Antoinette and Virgin Suicides focuses on the life of Priscilla Presley, who met her future husband when she was just fourteen. While some members of the Presley clan have already voiced their dissatisfaction with certain artistic choices, Priscilla Presley – whose memoirs the film is adapted from – has declared her admiration for Sofia Coppola’s cinema. Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi play Priscilla and Elvis.
MAESTRO BY BRADLEY COOPER
After offering a contemporary retelling of A Star is Born with Lady Gaga, the actor-filmmaker now turns his attention to music legend Leonard Bernstein. For this biopic, due for release on Netflix this year, Cooper himself plays the legendary composer of West Side Story, while Carey Mulligan plays Felicia Montealegre, the Chilean actress who married Bernstein in 1951. The film centres on their marriage, which is thrown into turmoil by the musician’s hidden homosexuality.