Venice Film Festival 2022 Lineup: Baumbach, Aronofsky, Guadagnino, and more
Screen Editor Harvey Isitt breaks down this year’s Venice Film Festival line-up after this week’s unveiling
After the success of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Venice had a tough act to follow. Still, with the selection revealed in Tuesday’s announcement, Venice seems to have again impressed. From Oscar contenders such as Iñárritu, Baumbach, and Zeller for Best Director, Blanchet and De Armas for Best Actress, and potentially Fraser and Jackman for Best Actor, to hidden gems like Diop’s Saint Omer , Panahi’s No Bears , Mitre’s Argentina 1985, and Pallaoro’s Monica, there will be lots to talk about at this year’s festival.
Here’s what Alberto Barbera, this year’s festival director, had to say about the lineup.
I’m very happy. It was a challenging and long process. We started to watch films last November. Of course, there were films that aren’t completed and we couldn’t get, but most of the films I wanted to see I could and many of those are here in the selection. There is great diversity in the lineup, with filmmakers from all over the world. There are big names but also new discoveries from emerging countries.
Despite all the excitement, however, one must point out the lineup’s severe lack of female directors (making only five of the twenty-three nominated) and the inclusion of Call of God by the late Kim Ki-Duk, given the multiple assault accusations against him near the end of his life. The film did not, however, make the final twenty-three, nor did Schrader’s Master Gardener, West’s Pearl, and Wilde’s much-discussed Don’t Worry Darling, starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh. Now, on with those that did.
White Noise | USA
After Marriage Story’s six Oscar nominations and win (Best Supporting Actress), Baumbach’s new project, ‘White Noise,’ is a dark comedy starring Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, and Don Cheadle. The project is an adaptation of Don Delillo’s literary novel of the same name; it will be Baumbach and Driver’s fifth collaboration and the first Netflix film ever to debut Opening Night at Venice. The film’s first official still (above) of Driver and Gerwig as Jack and Babbette Gladney was released along with Tuesday’s announcement.
A family of six attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.
Director: Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story, Frances Ha, The Meyerowitz Stories)
Cast: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy
Cinematographer: Lol Crawley (45 Years, The Devil All the Time, Four Lions)
Il Signore Delle Formiche (The Lord of the Ants) | Italy
A biopic of the Italian poet, playwright, and director Aldo Braibanti, who was jailed in 1968 due to a Fascist-era anti-gay law.
Director: Gianni Amelio
Cast: Sara Serraiocco, Luigi Lo Cascio, Elio Germano
Cinematographer: Luan Amelio
The Whale | USA
Produced by A24 and Protozoa Pictures, Darren Aronofsky’s new film The Whale is an adaptation of Samuel D. Hunter’s multi-award-winning play of the same name. If anything like the play, the film will be a funny, big-hearted story of a man’s journey toward redemption, reconnection, and finding beauty in the most unexpected places. It also draws from the Biblical tale of Jonah and the Whale.
A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.
Director: Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, Mother!)
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Sadie Sink, Samantha Morton, Samuel D. Hunter
Cinematographer: Matthew Libatique (Requiem for a Dream, Straight Outta Compton, A Star is Born)
L’Immensita | Italy
The story of love between Clara and her children, set in Rome in the ‘70s.
Director: Emanuele Crialese
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Vincenzo Amato, Aurora Quattrocchi
Cinematographer: Gergely Pohárnok
Saint Omer | France
Follows Rama, a novelist who attends the trial of Laurence Coly at the Saint-Omer Criminal Court to use her story to write a modern-day adaptation of the ancient myth of Medea, but things don’t go as expected.
Director: Alice Diop
Cast: Kayije Kagame, Guslagie Malanga, Aurélia Petit
Cinematographer: Claire Mathon (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Spencer, Petite Maman)
Blonde | USA
A fictionalised chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates.
Director: Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James, Chopper)
Cast: Ana De Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Xavier Samuel
Cinematographer: Chayse Irvin (BlacKkKlansman, Lemonade, God’s Creatures)
Tár | USA, Germany
Tár follows world-renowned musician Lydia Tár just days before recording the symphony that will take her to the heights of her already formidable career.
Director: Todd Field (Little Children, In the Bedroom)
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Mark Strong
Cinematographer: Florian Hoffmeister
ラブライフ (Love Life) | Japan
Follows a happily married woman who decides to take care of her son’s long-lost father when he reappears, deaf, ill, and homeless.
Director: Koji Fukada
Cast: Fumino Kimura
Bardo or (False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths) | Mexico
A chronicle of uncertainties where the main character, a renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker, returns to his native country to face his identity, familial relationships, the folly of his memories, and the past and new reality of his country.
Director: Alejandro G. Iñarritu (Birdman, The Revenant, Babel)
Cast: Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Grantham Coleman
Cinematographer: Darius Khondji (Se7en, Uncut Gems, Midnight in Paris)
Athena | France
Hours after the tragic death of their youngest brother in unexplaiuned circumstances, three siblings have their lives thrown into chaos.
Director: Romain Gavras
Cast: Dali Benssalah, Alexis Manenti
Cinematographer: Matias Bound
Bones & All | USA, Italy
After the success of Call Me By Your Name, a film that saw his first Oscar nomination, Timothée Chalamet has returned to work with the marvellous Luca Guadagnino on his latest horror drama, Bones and All. The film is based on Camille Deanglis’ compelling novel of the same name and will see Chalamet as Lee, a broody teen cannibal on a 1000-mile odyssey, alongside the incredible Maren, played by the fantastic Taylor Russell (Waves). The supporting cast includes Chloë Sevigny, Mark Rylance, André Holland and the criminally underrated Michael Stuhlbarg.
A story of first love between Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter, as they meet and join together for a 1,000-mile odyssey that takes them through the back roads, hidden passages and trap doors of Ronald Reagan’s America. But, despite their best efforts, all roads lead back to their terrifying pasts and to a final stand that will determine whether their love can survive their otherness.
Director: Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, Suspiria, We Are Who We Are)
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russel, Mark Rylance, André Holland, Michael Stuhlbarg
Cinematographer: Arseni Khachaturan
The Eternal Daughter | USA, UK
After her masterful Souvenir dilogy, Joanna Hogg has collaborated again with the incredible Tilda Swinton in The Eternal Daughter. Filmed secretly in Wales during lockdown, this spellbinding ghost story explores parental relationships and their legacy – a perfect fit for A24.
A middle-aged daughter and her elderly mother must confront long-buried secrets when they return to their former family home—a once-grand manor that has become a nearly vacant hotel brimming with mystery.
Director: Joanna Hogg (Souvenir Part I, Souvenir Part II)
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Carly-Sophia Davies, Joseph Mydell
Cinematographer: Ed Rutherford
Shab, Dakheli, Divar (Beyond The Wall) | Iran
The life of a blind man starts to fall apart when a wandering woman enters his life.
Director: Vahid Jalilvand
Cast: Navid Mohammadzadeh, Dayana Habibi, Amir Aghaee
The Banshees of Inisherin | Ireland, USA
Wishing to revisit the chemistry found between Farrell and Gleeson on the set of In Bruges, writer-director Martin McDonagh brings us a comedic drama set on the fictional island of Inisherin during the 1923 Irish Civil War. Kerry Condon and the magnificent Barry Keoghan will also star alongside the two. The film premieres on October 21.
A pair of lifelong friends on a remote Irish island find themselves at an awkward time in their relationship when one of them no longer wants to be friends.
Director: Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, Three Billboards)
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan, Karry Condon
Cinematographer: Ben Davis (The Eternals, Layer Cake, Three Billboards)
Argentina, 1985 | Argentina, USA
A team of lawyers take on the heads of Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship during the 1980s in a battle against odds and a race against time.
Director: Santiago Mitre
Cast: Ricardo Darin, Peter Lanzani, Carlos Portaluppi
Cinematographer: Javier Julia (Hot Summer Nights)
Chiara | Italy
The story of Saint Clare of Assisi, who left her wealthy family to become a nun after hearing St. Francis preach.
Director: Susanna Nicchiarelli
Cast: Margherita Mazzucco, Andrea Carpenzano
Cinematographer: Crystal Fournier (Tom Boy, Water Lillies, Girlhood)
Monica | USA, Italy
The intimate portrait of an estranged transgender woman who returns home to care for her dying mother. A delicate and nuanced story of a fractural family, the story explores universal themes of abandonment, ageing, acceptance, and redemption.
Director: Andrea Pallaoro (Hannah, Medeas)
Cast: Emily Browning, Patricia Clarkson, Trace Lysette
Cinematographer: Katelin Arizmendi (Swallow)
Khers Nist (No Bears) | Iran
Two parallel love stories in which the partners are thwarted by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition, and the mechanics of power.
Director: Jafar Panahi
Cast: Naser Hashemi, Bahtiyar Panjeei, Mina Khosravani
All The Beauty And The Bloodshed
Follows photographer Nan Goldin’s battle against the notorious Big-Pharma Sackler family.
Director: Laura Poitras (Citizenfour)
Cast: Nan Goldin
Un Couple (A Couple) | France, USA
A Couple follows a long-term relationship between a man and a woman. The man is Leo Tolstoy. The woman is his wife, Sophia. They were married for 36 years and had 13 children, nine of whom survived. Each kept a diary. Although they lived together in the same house, they frequently wrote letters to each other. Leo Tolstoy insisted they read their diaries aloud to guests at dinner parties. The film is Sophia’s monologue about the joys and struggles of their life together, loosely drawn from their letters to each other and their diary entries.
Director: Frederick Wiseman (Welfare)
Cast: Nathalie Boutefeu
The Son | UK
The Son is based on Zeller’s play of the same name, like his previous feature, The Father, which saw him win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Anthony Hopkins won for Best Actor. Olivia Coleman for Best Actress was among the film’s four additional nominations.
Peter has a busy life with his new partner Emma and their baby. This is thrown into disarray when his ex-wife turns up with their troubled teenage son, Nicholas.
Director: Florian Zeller (The Father)
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby
Cinematographer: Ben Smithard (The Father, Blinded by the Light, The Trip)
Les Miens (Our Ties) | France
Moussa has always been gentle, altruistic and present for his family, unlike his brother, Ryad, who, as a well-known TV presenter, is criticised for his selfishness by those around him.
Director: Roschdy Zem
Cast: Sami Bouajila, Roschdy Zem, Maïwenna
Les Enfants Des Autres (Other People’s Children) | France
A childless woman forms a deep bond with her boyfriend’s young daughter.
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski (An Easy Girl, Planetarium, Grand Central)
Cast: Virginie Efira, Roschdy Zem, Chiara Mastroianni
Cinematography: Georges Lechaptois (Proxima, An Easy Girl, Planetarium)