Last month, while at Cannes, Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Müller said this year's event will feature a lot of English-language films and a focus on up-and-coming filmmakers. Both statements fit with the announcement now that Atonement will be opening the festival, which kicks off August 29. The UK-produced pic is the sophomore effort of Joe Wright. It also marks the director's continued collaboration with Keira Knightley, who he directed to an Oscar nomination in his debut, Pride & Prejudice. Atonement is a war-time epic romance adapted from Ian McEwan's (Enduring Love) novel by Christopher Hampton (The Quiet American). Months after its premiere at Venice, it opens in the U.S. just in time for Academy notice on December 7.

A few months ago we shared the film's trailer, and just last week we got some photos, but neither is enough for us to tell if Knightley will deserve another nomination for her work with Wright. After recently watching the actress in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, I can't imagine her ever winning an Oscar, but perhaps Wright has some sort of magic touch with her. I will have to wait about five months to judge for myself, but Knightley's fans in the UK will be getting to see the performance about two weeks after it shows in Venice, on September 14. Then it rolls out to other parts of the world in the fall and winter.

So far Atonement seems to be the only film officially announced to screen at this year's Venice Film Festival, though last month Variety reported the fest will include a number of American films, likely including Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf, Todd Haynes' I'm Not There and Ang Lee's Lust, Caution. We'll know for sure on July 26. The only other things we know for sure about the fest are that Zhang Yimou is heading the jury, that Tim Burton is getting a career achievement award and that there will be a Spaghetti Western retrospective. If you love both Knightley and Sergio Leone, you may want to start making your reservations today.
CATEGORIES Cinematical