You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Lucrecia Martel Dominate Day One

The 76th Venice Film Film Festival kicked off Wednesday evening with Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche on the red carpet for the world premiere of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “The Truth,” in which they play a mother and daughter in conflict. The well-received opening film by a male director, but with women at its core, encapsulates the mood on the Lido, where the ongoing uproar over female representation took center stage. 

Deneuve in black and devilish red, Binoche in silver sequins, and fellow French actress Ludivine Sagnier, who is also in the film, had the flashbulbs popping in the balmy Lido evening glow. Ethan Hawke, who also stars, did not make the trek.

Earlier in the day at the opening press conference, fest director Alberto Barbera defended the often-cited fact that there are just two films directed by women in the 21-title competition. Barbera also stood firm on the inclusion in Venice’s official selection of new films by Roman Polanski and Nate Parker, despite both directors having histories of sexual assault allegations — in Parker’s case, he was accused of rape while in college but was acquitted of those charges. Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in California in 1977 but fled the U.S. before sentencing. 

Jury president Lucrecia Martel said, “I will not congratulate him. But I think it is right that his movie is here at this festival.” In a note issued later by the festival the jury president clarified that she will watch and judge Polanski’s film “like any other in the competition.”

Martel, whose credits include “The Headless Woman” and “Zama,” at the press conference added that “we have to develop our dialogue with him, and this is the best possible place to go on with this type of discussion.”

But the Argentine auteur said she had turned down an invitation to toast Polanski at a gala dinner. Polanski himself will not be attending the festival.

Martel begged to differ with Barbera regarding his reiterated stance on rejecting the notion of quotas for women directors at film festivals.

“The issue of the quotas is difficult and the answer is never satisfactory,” she said. “There are no other solutions which include the discussion of whether to give women the place that they deserve,” she added, going on to point out that she thought “quotas are indeed pertinent for the time being.”

“The Truth,” which is Kore-eda’s foray into French-language filmmaking, marked Venice’s first European opener since 2012 when a string of Hollywood titles took over the slot.

However, day two will see a double dose of Hollywood with James Grey’s “Ad Astra” from Fox, starring Brad Pitt as an astronaut on a mission to save the solar system, and Noah Baumbach’s intimate divorce drama for Netflix, “Marriage Story,” with Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple in conflict, unspool on the Lido.


Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    Film News Roundup: 'Rugrats' Writer David N. Weiss Honored by Animation Writers

    In today’s film news roundup, David N. Weiss is honored, Rin Tin Tin is getting a modern movie and “The Shasta Triangle” finds a home. WEISS HONORED David N. Weiss will receive the animation writing award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. The award will be presented by Weiss’ [...]

  • Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films

    Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films With a Big Stress on the Word 'Art'

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 7) – one of the leading cultural events in the Africa and Middle East region – will screen 98 films from 34 countries. The fest is also reinforcing its industry presence this year through the second edition of the Atlas Workshops, sponsored by Netflix, which [...]

  • Emma Stone Brad Pitt Damien Chazelle

    Paramount Lands Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon,' Dates It for Christmas 2021

    Paramount Pictures has landed the worldwide rights to Damien Chazelle’s next feature film “Babylon,” sources tell Variety. Insiders add the studio has dated the film for a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release, with plans to go wide on Jan. 7. The release date puts in prime position for another awards season run for Chazelle, who [...]

  • Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi Film 'The Tomorrow War' Gets Release Date

    Chris Pratt’s upcoming sci-fi actioner, which was recently retitled “The Tomorrow War,” has set a Christmas Day 2020 release date. The Paramount film was formerly titled “Ghost Draft.” It follows a man (played by Pratt) who is drafted to fight a future war in which the fate of humanity may rely on his ability to [...]

  • Kim Dong-Ho of GIFF Chairman of

    Inaugural Gangneung Film Festival Pays Tribute to Pierre Rissient

    The opening ceremony of the first edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival was dominated by a tribute to the French film scout and festival selector Pierre Rissient, who died in May 2018. The new festival, 240 km from Seoul, counts former Busan festival co-founder Kim Dong-ho as its chairman and former Bucheon festival head [...]

  • 'Waves': Sterling K. Brown and Trey

    'Waves' Cast Reflects on the Making of the Tragic Family Drama

    “Waves,” a partially autobiographical film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, is a visually arresting look at the fraying of an upper-middle class black family in South Florida in the aftermath of a violent tragedy. It examines themes of grief, domestic violence, substance abuse and modern-day pressures on kids to succeed. “Propelled by color, [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content