Films I'm Most Excited to See at the 71st Venice Film Festival


1.
The Cut (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
In 1915 a man survives the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, but loses his family, speech and faith. One night he learns that his twin daughters may be alive, and goes on a quest to find them. (138 mins.)
Director: Fatih Akin
“ Tahar Rahim, the star of A PROPHET headlining a film from Fatih Akin, director of HEAD-ON, sounds like a powerful collaboration. A PROPHET garnered Rahim a slew of nominations and HEAD-ON won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2004, but neither has recaptured the heights of those films. Perhaps THE CUT will change all of that. ” - keithsim
 
2.
Pasolini (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A kaleidoscopic look at the last day of Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1975. (84 mins.)
Director: Abel Ferrara
“ The life and mysterious, still-unexplained death of infamous Italian filmmaker and provocateur Pier Paolo Pasolini would make explosive material for any filmmaker.

In the hands of director Abel Ferrara, whose film BAD LIEUTENANT ignited its own controversy, PASOLINI might just light the theater on fire.

Two points to Willem Dafoe for starring in this and FAULT IN OUR STARS in the same year. ” - keithsim
 
3.
Hwajang (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A middle-aged man who has recently lost his wife to cancer indulges in fantasies about a young woman at his work. (89 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
“ Kwon Taek-Im's work is as painterly, sometimes shocking, and as lasting as the bold brush strokes of Chihwaseon, the Korean artist featured in the writer/director's 2002 film, Painted Fire. A modern drama, such as HWAJANG, should suit him well. ” - keithsim
 
4.
She's Funny That Way (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
On the set of a playwright's new project, a love triangle forms between his wife, her ex-lover, and the call girl-turned-actress cast in the production. (93 mins.)
“ If you've ever seen THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, WHAT'S UP, DOC? and PAPER MOON you'd know that, in the early 1970s writer/director Peter Bogdanovich could do no wrong. He could do drama, period, screwball. Some now think that his true genius lay with his then-partner Polly Platt, that Bogdanovich ditched for Cybill Shepherd. He returns with a script he wrote with his ex-wife Louise Stratten, who was the sister of Bogdanovich's former lover, Dorothy Stratten. Dorothy was a Playboy Playmate who was murdered by her psychotic ex-husband and that tragedy was turned into the film Star 80. This, of course, has little to do with whether SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY (formerly titled, horribly, SQUIRRELS TO THE NUTS) will return Bogdanovich to his former glory but it is one helluva backstory. ” - keithsim
 
5.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor's struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown. (119 mins.)
“ So, Birdman is a comedy? A comedy? From the guy who directed AMORES PERROS, BABEL, 21 GRAMS, BIUTIFUL? Not a knee-slapper in the lot. In fact, in director Inarritu's heartbreaking films of desperate, disconnected people, one would be hard-pressed to think of a comedic scene in any of them. Nevertheless, this is a filmmaker who understands, or at least can convincingly relay, the foibles of the human animal, and comedy is one way of doing that. ” - keithsim
 
6.
Burying the Ex (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A guy's regrets over moving in with his girlfriend are compounded when she dies and comes back as a zombie. (89 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
“ Director Joe Dante's name should definitely ring some bells. GREMLINS, INNERSPACE, and THE HOWLING are all his. His most recent outings have been less successful but he has two likeable leads here in Yelchin and Greene. ” - keithsim
 
7.
The Humbling (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A stage actor who is slowly losing his mind engages in a relationship with a sexually confused younger woman. (112 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
“ Once again, you just have to look at the past filmographies here to see the interest. THE HUMBLING has a co-writer screenwriter credit for the great Buck Henry, not to mention the presence of Barry Levinson. Levinson had such clout after RAIN MAN and GOOD MORNING VIETNAM that he could make anything he wanted. So he made TOYS and thus started a long series of whiffs. With talent like Pacino and Gerwig one hopes, fervently, for a change in fortune. ” - keithsim
 
8.
The Goob (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A long hot summer in rural Norfolk and a rough coming of age for Goob Taylor,fighting with brutal,womanizing stock car racer Gene Womack for his mother's attention ,and falling for the exotic charms of a pretty foreign field worker. (84 mins.)
Director: Guy Myhill
“ Sienna Guillory has had the kind of career that most actresses would envy but I've always wanted her to have more critical acclaim and pleased she headlines this oddly named film in the Venice Days selection. ” - keithsim
 
9.
Cymbeline (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. A drug kingpin is driven to desperate measures. (98 mins.)
“ I was largely impressed with Almereyda's corporate take on Hamlet though I realize it was antiseptic and frigid. This cast, however, and one of the Bard's lesser known works, give me hope. ” - keithsim
 
10.
The Price of Fame (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Two friends decide to steal Charlie Chaplin's body, right after his death, for ransom. (110 mins.)
Director: Xavier Beauvois
“ Xavier Beauvois's Of Gods and Men had the kind of devoted defenders at Cannes in 2010 that I never quite understood. But I could certainly see Beauvois's careful, considerate approach to what could otherwise be inflammatory subjects. I expect nothing less here. ” - keithsim