The second edition of the Rome Film Festival kicked off in high style last night, featuring Monica Bellucci, back to her natural brunette after dying her hair blonde for French gangster flick Second Wind (AKA Le Deuxième Souffle), and the always elegant Sophia Loren, who received a lifetime achievement award after not even being invited to the festival's first edition last year. Second Wind is a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville's 1966 original; the new version also stars Daniel Auteuil and was directed by Alain Corneau (the very good Fear and Trembling). It doesn't yet have Italian distribution, so it seems like a bold choice.

Gala screenings continue tonight with what The Hollywood Reporter called "the highly anticipated European premiere of Elizabeth: The Golden Age." Queen Elizabeth herself -- otherwise known as Cate Blanchett -- is expected to be called on the (red) carpet. But with all due respects to the Elizabeth sequel, my greatest anticipation is for the world premiere of Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth. On Saturday afternoon (October 20), Coppola will attend a screening of his wife's documentary Coda: Thirty Years Later, "participate in a public encounter" (evidently a conversation with a moderator), and then proceed to the public unveiling of his first film in a decade.

The stars will continue to shine when the Lions for Lambs trio of Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise jet down to Rome in time for photos and a screening on October 23. Jane Fonda and Gerald Depardieu are also expected to enjoy a Roman holiday. The Rome Film Festival runs through October 27. Check out the Cinematical Gallery below to see photographic evidence of the lovely stars doing their thing on opening night. %Gallery-8842%
CATEGORIES Cinematical