|George Clooney arrives at press conference - (AP photo-Joel Ryan)|
Clooney not only directs "The Ides of March" -- the opening film of the festival -- he stars and co-wrote the screenplay with his long-time business partner, Grant Heslov, based on Beau Willimon's stage play, "Farragut North." Here are some early reviews:
|Evan Rachel Wood & Marisa Tomei|
A political thriller exploring themes of loyalty, ambition and the gap between public ideals and private fallibility, it engages the brain within the context of a solid entertainment."
Xan Brooks for The Guardian: "This handsome, solid campaign thriller paints its primary colours in darkening shades of grey. ...The Ides of March is tense and involving, a decent choice for the festival's opening-night film.
The entire cast was brilliant, and most of them are here in Venice: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paulo Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. The only one missing was Ryan Gosling, who plays a idealistic, loyal press secretary with a deep belief in Governor Mike Morris (played by Clooney). When his rose colored glasses are shattered, he, too, reveals a very dark side of himself. There was talk of Ryan Gosling becoming a major star, and after seeing his performance, I agree.
At the press conference, Clooney said that it is a very difficult time to govern these days. When asked if he would ever run for president, Clooney said he liked his current job. He said that Hollywood was Candy Land compared to Washington, D.C. and that difference between them was getting too blurry. He said there was a huge difference with respect to what each town was responsible for. People in Washington have serious jobs that affect the fate of the planet. Decisions are made that are life-changing for many people in the world. Compared to that, Hollywood is like a playground where they tell stories and the worst that can happen is they get badly reviewed.
This year at the 68th Venice International Film Festival we have world premieres of every single film in the three official categories. Which means that here in Venice we get to see 65 films first, before the rest of the world does.Which also must mean that filmmakers trust Venice to present their work to the world in an enlightened, glittering way. After all, Venice was the very first film festival in the world!
In addition to the folks from Ides of March, here are a few people who arrived in Venice yesterday, August 30, 2011:
John C. Reilly
Ciao from Venice,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog