73rd Venice Film Festival

 The Venice Film Festival was founded in 1932, making it the oldest film festival in the world and from the 31st August to the 10th September it will be showcasing the newest films on the Venice Lido. So far, the films are making big splashes.

LALALAND

 The curtains lifted Wednesday night to a film I had no idea I had been waiting so long for: until now. Most of us millennials will hear the word musical and probably associate it with something our mum would watch, and resign themselves as ‘too cool’ to find it interesting. However, I have a feeling that they wont be shrugging off writer-director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land too soon, with Ryan Gosling playing aspiring jazz pianist Sebastian and Emma Stone a struggling actress Mia. It’s a charming story of two young lovers, both with an ambition driving obstacles between them, told in vibrant bursts of song and dance with appearances from none other than John Legend and J.K. Simmons, who had the Oscar winning performance in Chapelle’s last film, Whiplash.

 If history were to repeat itself, La La Land may find itself picking up the Best Picture award come the Oscars (The last two films to open the Venice Film Festival won the award, La La Land could make it a hatrick). With songs written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the nostalgic, romantic nod to old-time LA and the undoubtable chemistry between Stone and Gosling, all under Chazelle’s direction, it would be no surprise to see them on the Oscar stage this season.

 ARRIVAL

If you’re left feeling emotionally drained after binge-watching Netflix Original Series, Stranger Things, and find yourself wondering what to do with your life between now and the release of Season 2, this one is for you.

 ‘Arrival; is the story of linguistics expert Amy Adams recruited to help communicate with the extra-terrestrials that have oh-so-casually landed on Earth. With Jeremy Renner and Forest Whittaker by her side, Amy Adams forms a rapport with the squid-like aliens who communicate in images of smoky, squid ink-like spills.

 Directed by the talented Denis Villeneuve, who also graced us with Prisoners and Sicario, ‘Arrival’ is said to be more than your typical Independence Day blockbuster. Instead, it’s penned as a hypnotic, almost poetic depiction of an alien-invasion. The story unfolds and elements of twisting the the order of time come into play, it will be interesting to see how science fiction fans react to this film, based on the short story by Ted Chiang, The Story of Your Life. 

LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS

All you have to do to understand the excitement for this film is watch the trailer.

Real-life couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander play on-screen couple Isabel and WW1 veteran Tom, who face real-life couple tragedies. After two devastating miscarriages, dealt with on the isolation of an idyllic Australian island, the unexpected arrival of a newborn baby in tragic circumstances provokes a slight skew of the vulnerable family’s moral compass.

Director Derek Cianofrance describes the film as a “battle between truth and love”. The major themes of the film, loss, love, family, are all boiled down to forgiveness. Vikander says she fell in love with it, because it’s about real people, “good people sometimes not making the best decisions”.

 I warn you, I watched the trailer and started crying immediately.

For more on what’s showing this year visit www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/