The 70th Venice International Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica), organized by La Biennale di Venezia and directed by Alberto Barbera, opens today, bringing eleven days of excitement to the Venice Lido and to this blog.
The festivities begin this evening with the inauguration ceremony, hosted by Italian model/actress Eva Riccobono (winner of the 2013 Ciak d'Oro for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Passione Sinistra by Marco Ponti).
The ceremony will be followed by the highly anticipated World Premiere of Out of Competition opening film, Gravity by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón. A 3D outer space thriller, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.
|Eva Riccobono © la Biennale di Venezia|
Opening Film - Out of Competition
directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth... and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.Critical Reception:
"At once a nervy experiment in blockbuster minimalism and a film of robust movie-movie thrills, restoring a sense of wonder, terror and possibility to the bigscreen that should inspire awe among critics and audiences worldwide"Justin Chang (Variety)
"The most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space ... smart but not arty, dramatically straightforward but so dazzlingly told as to make it a benchmark in its field."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
"About as visceral an experience as you can have in a cinema, it’s a technical marvel, and it’s a blockbuster with heart and soul in spades. It’s about the best opening to a film festival that you could ask for."Oliver Lyttelton (The Playlist)
"A bold (possibly even eccentric) and majestically rendered parable on the wonders of creation, with a very specific focus on the details of reproduction. "David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
"While the performances are spot on, the real stars of the film are Cuaron’s smart direction and the spectacular special effects, which should come under attention during awards season."Mark Adams (Screen Daily)
"A brilliantly tense and involving account of two stricken astronauts; a howl in the wilderness that sucks the breath from your lungs."Xan Brooks (The Guardian)
"A science-fiction thriller of rare and diamond-hard brilliance."Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
The 2013 Venice International Film Festival runs from August 28 to September 7, be sure to return for daily updates and more!
- Day 4 (Night Moves, Child of God, Philomena)
- Day 3 (The Police Officer's Wife, Joe, Wolf Creek 2)
- Day 2 (Tracks, A Street in Palermo, Why Don't You Play in Hell?)