The Films Generating the Most Buzz at the Half-Way Mark – The Hollywood Reporter

As the 79th Venice Film Festival arrives at the midway mark, a handful of titles are rising as this yr’s favorites, at least judged by the response of audiences and competition critics.

With slightly below per week to go earlier than the Venice jury, below president Julianne Moore, crowns the 2022 Golden Lion winner on Sept.10, Todd Field’s Tár is lengths forward of the competition pack. The bracing drama, a portrait of a pushed, tyrannical classical composer and conductor who will get caught up in a #MeToo scandal — performed by Cate Blanchett with a ferocious depth that already has handicappers whispering “Oscar” — the movie wowed critics and the Venice viewers in equal measure.

The key speaking level might be Blanchett’s astonishing efficiency — flinty, commandingly self-possessed and ever so slowly splintering below strain,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief movie critic David Rooney in his rave overview. The Sept. 1 premiere of the Focus Features launch, which drew a raucous response from the gala crowd, set a excessive bar for all to come back.

But the re-teaming of Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino with star Timothée Chalamet in the cannibal love story, Bones and All, appeared up for the problem. The Sept. 2 premiere set Venice alight. The premiere viewers leaped to their toes the second the credit rolled and stayed up, giving spherical after spherical of whoops and cheers and a standing ovation that lasted almost 10 minutes. Guadagnino’s mixture of mild love story with sometimes gory violence might current a Marketing problem for MGM, which is rolling Bones and All out worldwide, however it will likely be helped by the essential response, which has been almost universally constructive.

“Guadagnino has made a kind of emo horror movie,” writes Rooney. “He’s far less interested in the shock factor than the poignant isolation of his young principal characters [Chalamet and co-star Taylor Russell] and the life raft they come to represent to one another as they slowly let down their guard.”

Matching the reward for Blanchett’s flip in Tár has been the critics’ celebration of Brendan Fraser’s “comeback” efficiency in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. In the chamber piece, tailored by Samuel D. Hunter from his personal play, sees The Mummy star play a 600-pound recluse combating guilt and in search of redemption. Although extra mainstream than most of the choices in Venice this yr, The Whale received over cynical worldwide critics, lots of whom rose to a standing ovation after the movie’s first press screening Saturday evening. Co-starring Stranger Things actor Sadie Sink, Samantha Morton and Hong Chau, The Whale will exit through A24 in the US, with a launch deliberate for Dec. 9.

Roman Gavras’ Athena can’t boast the star energy of The Whale, Tár or Bones and All, however the French director’s epic motion tragedy shocked critics and festival-goers alike on day three of Venice with its technical prowess and wrenching story of 4 brothers torn aside by a protest that explodes from inside a Paris housing property.

Athena is a live grenade, beginning in full ignition mode and dialing up its intensity throughout with virtuoso technique,” writes Rooney in his THR overview. “It’s a tough watch at times, but one that keeps the audience in a firm chokehold.”

The movie’s well timed message, immersive motion and sweeping electro-symphonic rating — Gavras is finest recognized for his memorable music movies for MIA, Kanye West and Jaimie xx — might Help it catch hearth on Netflix when it launches globally on Sept. 23.

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