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Venice Film Festival Highlights

Venice Film Festival Highlights So Far

The 78th Venice Film Festival kicked off on September 1st. The line-up this year is arguably one of the biggest ever, from blockbuster epic Dune to Princess Diana biopic, Spencer. The Festival is renowned for introducing future Oscar winners, like Nomadland last year, and Joker in 2019. Below, we\’ll take you through our thoughts (spoiler-free) on each of the films that we think are ones to watch…

The Lost Daughter


Adapted from the book, The Lost Daughter, marks Maggie Gyllenhaal\’s directorial debut and it is near perfection. Led by Oscar winner, Olivia Colman, a college professor confronts her past after meeting a woman and her young daughter while on an Italian vacation. Her obsession with the woman and her daughter brings back memories of her early motherhood.

The Lost Daughter is a confident picture that\’s intimate and heartfelt, with a stellar cast. Dakota Johnson and Jessie Buckely bring their A-game alongside Colman. Colman once again nails her role, expertly portraying the complexity of her character. Gyllenhaal has confidence and it\’s brilliant, it\’s a strong film with clear direction and vision executed masterfully.

The Lost Daughter releases in Cinemas & on Netflix this December.


Dune is one of this year\’s biggest films, directed by visionary Denis Villeneuve. At its premiere screening, the film received a 7-minute standing ovation. To put it simply – this film is a spectacle. 


Back in 1984, David Linch adapted the novel for the big screen but didn\’t gain an impressive response from critics and audiences at the time. Compared to Linch\’s version, this is stronger and feels more immersive, helped with the all-star ensemble. The cast, led by Chalamet, is outstanding but we only get to see some characters for a short time disappointingly. This is where a slight lack of depth in storytelling weakens the spectacle.

Watching the film, you can really see Villeneuve\’s unique tone and vision come to life. The cinematography is spectacular and amplifies the film\’s overall aesthetic. If you can, watch this on the big screen – this film is meant for Cinemas.

Dune releases in Cinemas this October.


Pablo Lorrain\’s Spencer is an impactful drama following Princess Diana over three days in 1991, while spending the Christmas holiday with the royal family at Sandringham House. Over this period, Princess Diana decided to leave Prince Charles. Kristen Stewart gives a stunning performance that has a huge sense of authenticity and emotion. Stewart may give the best portrayal of the late Princess to date, on par with Emma Corrin\’s Golden Globe-winning role in The Crown.


It\’s worth mentioning that Spencer is a bold and gutsy film, beautifully shot and directed by Lorrain. Steven Knight\’s screenplay is equally masterful, bringing tears, laughter and tenderness. Although early, I think Stewart will be a strong contender in the Oscars race next year.

Spencer releases in Cinemas this November. 

The Power Of The Dog

Benedict Cumberbatch leads this surprisingly captivating Drama from Jane Campion. The film follows two brothers who are co-owners of a Montana ranch in 1925. Conflict soon arises after one of them gets married. This film is sophisticated and structured well – it\’s a stunning and Oscar-worthy feature.


I feel some people may think this film is slow, but it is essentially a slow-burn Western that\’s expertly put together. There is quality storytelling and filmmaking throughout the feature, led by Cumberbatch in another career-high. Filmed in New Zealand, this is a stunningly shot film, similar to the impact of Nomadland\’s infamous extreme long shots. However, in The Power Of The Dog, the camera puts a unique emphasis on the characters and their emotions. 

The Power Of The Dog releases in Cinemas & on Netflix this December.

Last Night In Soho

From Edgar Wright, comes an original, haunting and deliciously dark film. It combines the genres of horror and psychological thriller, to give a modern-day Hitchcock feel. The performances from Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie, in particular, are truly spectacular. It\’s also great to see British acting legends: the late Diana Rigg (in her final film), Terence Stamp and Rita Tushingham. This is a film I\’ve been excited about for a long time, with a script by Wright and 1917 writer, Krysty Wilson-Cairns. This is quite different to what Wright has done previously but it\’s bold, unique and still has the typical flare of Wright\’s directing. Last Night In Soho is a real treat, suited for its release this Fall.

Last Night In Soho releases in Cinemas this October. 

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