Venice Film Fest 2022: Strong, Star-Studed Lineup

Venice Fest 2022: Marilyn Monroe Drama ‘Blonde,’ New Timothee Chalamet, Olivia Wilde, Inarritu Films

For years, it was only Cannes, Mon Amour.

Over the past decade, we have also begun saying, Venice, Mon Amour.

The 79th Venice International Film Festival unveils the movies that will compete for this year’s Golden Lion.

The Venice Festival has done it again.

The lineup for the 79th Venice Film Festival could have been a damp squib after Cannes’ 2022 festival, which featured Hollywood blockbusters Top Gun: Maverick and Elvis alongside arthouse fare, including Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness and Park Chan-wook’s South Korean mystery thriller Decision to Leave.

But Venice’s 2022 program, unveiled on Tuesday, stands up to the Croisette razzle-dazzle with impressive mix of red-carpet-friendly, star-studded features and compelling, politically-charged dramas and documentaries.

While there will be nothing to match Top Gun at the Lido this year, it looks like Venice’s position as the launch pad for award-season contenders is very much firmly in place.


Jafar Panahi

New features from Alejandro Iñárritu, Florian Zeller, Noah Baumbach, Luca Guadagnino, Darren Aronofsky, Joanna Hogg and Olivia Wilde will all premiere in Venice.

The stars set to attend the Italian fest include Timothée Chalamet, Ana de Armas, Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Florence Pugh and Chris Pine.

Baumbach’s Netflix film White Noise, an adaptation of the 1985 Don DeLillo novel that is starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, will open the 79th Venice Film Festival on August 31. It will mark Baumbach’s return to the Lido 3 years after his Marriage Story premiered in Venice, en route to picking up 6 Oscar nominations and one win.

Three Netflix Movies

It’s one of three Netflix features on the Lido this year, with the streamer also taking Blonde, a fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe from New Zealand director Andrew Dominik, starring de Armas as Monroe, and Iñárritu’s Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.

Bardo is Iñárritu’s first Mexican film since his 2000 debut Amores Perros.

The Son

Other competition highlights include Zeller’s The Son, the French director’s follow-up to his Oscar-winner The Father, starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby and Anthony Hopkins.

Adapted, like The Father, from his French-language play, The Son is produced by See-Saw, the British-Australian banner behind 2021 Venice Fest and 2022 awards season darling The Power of the Dog. Sony Pictures Classic has the rights.

Venice favorite Guadagnino returns with competition title Bones and Alla U.S.-set feature that reteams the director with his Call Me By Your Name Oscar nominee Chalamet. The film co-stars Taylor Russell as Maren, a young woman living on the margins of society who falls in love with Lee (Chalamet), an intense and disenfranchised drifter. Jessica Harper, Chloë Sevigny, Michael Stuhlbarg and Mark Rylance co-star. MGM has worldwide rights, with UA releasing in the U.S.

Aronofsky’s The Whale will also premiere in competition, marking his return to Lido after 2017’s Mother! Aronofsky won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2008 with The Wrestler. His latest stars Sadie Sink, Brendan Fraser and Samantha Morton in a story of reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity who attempts, one last time, to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter. A24 has worldwide rights.

British Joanna Hogg will bring The Eternal Daughter, starring Tilda Swinton.

Same goes for the latest from 2017 Venice Golden Lion winner Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), The Banshees of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell.

French director Rebecca Zlotowski’s Other People’s Children, a French feature starring Virginie Efira (ElleBenedetta) as a childless woman who forms deep bond with her boyfriend’s young daughter, has also made the Venice competition cut, as has Our Ties from fellow French director Roschdy Zem (Chocolat).

Italian director Andrea Pallaoro, whose 2017 drama Hannah, starring Charlotte Rampling, was in Venice competition, is set to return with his English-language debut, Monica. The family drama stars Trace Lysette as a woman who returns home to care for her dying mother. Patricia Clarkson, Adriana Barraza and Emily Browning co-star.

Another Italian feature, Chiara from director Susanna Nicchiarelli, will be representing the home crowd in the Venice competition this year.

No Bears, a film shot in secret by banned Iranian director Jafar Panahi, will also get a Venice competition slot, as will Todd Field’s Tar, starring Cate Blanchett, Vahid Jalilvand’s Beyond the Wall, Alice Diop’s Saint Omer and Koji Fukada’s Love Life.

Beyond the Wall, an Iranian drama from Panahi’s countryman Vahid Jalilvand, will also screen in competition, one of four Iranian films in Venice’s official selection this year.

Laura Poitras’ documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed will get  rare competition slot for a non-fiction film.

A Couple, a French-shot feature from acclaimed documentarian Frederick Wiseman (City Hall), will also premiere in the lineup.

Gay Fare

Other competition titles include Il signore delle formiche from Italian director Gianni Amelio, a portrait of the Italian poet, playwright and director Aldo Braibanti jailed in 1968 under a Fascist-era law criminalizing gay activity;

Emanuele Crialese’s Spanish drama L’immensità starring Penelope Cruz; and Santiago Mitre’s political period piece Argentina, 1985.

Closing Night

The Hanging Sun, a Sky thriller from director Francesco Carrozzini, based on the Jo Nesbø best-seller, starring Alessandro Borghi, Jessica Brown Findlay, Peter Mullan and Charles Dance,  will close the Venice Film Festival on September 10.

Out of competition, Olivia Wilde’s hotly-anticipated Don’t Worry Darling will have its world premiere on the Lido. The feature stars Pugh and Pine.

A year after Paul Schrader wowed Venice with The Card Counter, he returns with Master Gardener, starring Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver, which will premiere out of competition.

Walter Hill’s new Western Dead for a Dollar, starring Christoph Waltz and Willem Dafoe, also secured an out-of-competition slot.

So did Kim Ki-duk’s Call of God, a feature completed after the Korean director’s death.

Dreamin’ Wild from director Bill Pohlad (Love & Mercy), with Casey Affleck, Zooey Deschanel and Walton Goggins, about musical duo Donnie and Joe Emerson.

On the TV side, Venice is looking to shock with two new series from Danish arthouse scandal magnets Lars von Trier and Nicolas Winding Refn, who will premiere their latest small-screen efforts, The Kingdom and Copenhagen Cowboy, respectively, out of competition on the Lido this year.

Also screening out of competition in Venice are Paolo Virzi’s Italian drama Siccita, Ti West’s Pearl, starring Mia Goth and David Corenswet, When The Waves Are Done from Lav Diaz, Living from Oliver Hermanus, plus Oliver Stone’s new, controversial, documentary Nuclear.

Two Ukraine Documentaries

On the non-fiction side, two Ukraine documentaries, Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom from Evgeny Afineevsky — described as an “instant movie”, shot from the beginning of the Ukraine war in February — and The Kiev Trial from Sergei Loznitsa (Babi Yar. Context), will premiere out of competition.

Gianfranco Rosi’s In Viaggio, a documentary on Pope Francis, The Matchmaker, a documentary on western women who joined ISIS, from Benedetta Argentieri will also get Venice debuts, as will non-fiction features Gli Ultimi Giorni Dell’Umantita from Enrico Ghezzi an Alessandro Gagliardo, A Compassionate Spy from director Steve James, Music for Black Pigeons from Jorgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed, and Bobi Wine Ghetto President from Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo on the titular Ugandan rapper-turned-politician.

Shorts from Lucrecia Martel and Sally Potter

Several short films, including Maid from Lucrecia Martel, Sally Potter’s Look at Me, starring Javier Bardem and Chris Rock, will get an out-of-competition premieres in Venice 2022. Organizers said they are hopeful Rock would attend the fest.

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera and Roberto Cicutto, president of La Biennale di Venezia, the umbrella organization that runs the world’s oldest film fest, unveiled the lineup live.

They did it from the library of the Biennale Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts in Venice in ceremony that was live-streamed on the festival’s website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Venice was the only major A-list festival not to cancel its in-person event during the coronavirus pandemic, but the 2022 Lido fest looks to be the first since the start of COVID-19 to take place without any restrictions whatsoever after Italy removed its remaining mask rules for cinemas on June 15.

Venice had already announced this year’s lineup for its sidebar sections.

Roberto De Paolis’ Princess will open the 2022 Horizons sections, described as a combination of documentary and fantasy.

Victim, a Czech drama from first feature from director Michal Blasko, the Spanish feature On the Fringe, the directorial debut of Spanish actor Juan Diego Botto and Trenque Lauquen from Argentine director Laura Citarella will also screen in the sidebar this year. Directors Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel make their Venice debut in Horizons with Vera.

Innocence: Suicides among Israeli Army Recruits

Guy Davidi’s documentary Innocence will also make a Horizons bow this year. The film examines the phenomenon of suicides among Israeli army recruits. Davidi’s 2011 docu 5 Broken Cameras was Oscar-nominated.

Other Horizons features include Blanquita from Chilean director Fernando Guzzoni, For My Country from Rachid Hami, Autobiography from Makbul Mubarak, To the North from Romanian director Mihai Mincan, Kei Ishikawa’s Japanese thriller A Man, the Polish debut Bread and Salt from director Damian Kocur, French feature The Sitting Duck from Jean-Paul Salome, starring Isabelle Huppert, the black-and-white Italian feature Ti Mangio Il Curore from director Pippo Mezzapesa, and Luxembourg, Luxembourg from Antonio Lukich, a Ukraine-set comedy.

World War III from Houman Seydei, which will screen in Horizons, is one of four Iranian films to make the cut for Venice this year.

The Happiest Man in the World from Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska, about the siege of Sarajevo, and Sergio Trefaut’s The Bride, shot in Iraqi Kurdistan, completes the main Horizons feature.

Origin of Evil from Sebastian Marnier will open Venice’s Horizons Extra section.

Hanging Gardens from Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji and Amanda from Carolina Cavalli, and Red Shoes from Mexican director Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser, all first-time directors, will debut in Horizons Extra.

Soudade Kaadan’s Syrian-set Nezouh, the Italian feature Notte Fantasma from director Fulvio Risuleo, Michal Vinik’s Israeli drama Valeria is Getting MarriedGoliath from Adilkhan Yerzhanov, and Arian Vazirdaftari’s Iranian thriller Without Her, will also premiere in Horizons Extra.