A lookahead to the big films and major stars making their way to the 72nd Venice Film Festival -- and the thoughts of Variety's film critic, Jay Weissberg. Gavino Garay reports.
The competition is tough for the 21 films in the main competition of the 72nd Venice Film Festival -- the festival kicks off on Wednesday with a screening of "Everest" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley. It's reenactment of the 1996 climbers' disaster on the world's tallest mountain. And the diversity of this year's films is something to take note of. Variety film critic Jay Weissberg says the mix includes light French films, political films, dramas, and even sci-fi. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FILM CRITIC FOR VARIETY, JAY WEISSBERG, SAYING: "Venice's line-up this year and the competition is much more diverse it seems to me than it has been in the past. There's a little bit of everything which gives a broader perspective on what cinema is about at this moment." Also in the mix -- Tom Hooper's "The Danish Girl" -- starring Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne, who plays one of the first known people to undergo a sex change. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FILM CRITIC FOR VARIETY, JAY WEISSBERG, SAYING: "It's a theme that's certainly been in the news a lot the last year with Caitlin Jenner and all of the other people who have paved the way. This in a way is a precursor to that. It's saying, "look we have antecedents before that who are every bit, if not, more interesting." Screening in the out-of-competition lineup is "Black Mass", starring Johnny Depp who plays criminal turned FBI informant. Weissberg says that while Depp has been somewhat off the radar over the last few years, it showcases the true strength of his craft. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FILM CRITIC FOR VARIETY, JAY WEISSBERG, SAYING: "Hopefully it's going to be a film that makes people remember what a terrific actor he is." The festival runs Sept. 2-12, and it's only a matter if hours before the stars hit the red carpet.