The best movies listed in 2021’s Venice Festival

In-house film critics deconstruct some of the festival’s most talked-about films, including those from Edgar Wright’s ‘Last Night in Soho’ and Kristen Stewart’s ‘Spencer.’

The Hand Of God

Back to his Neapolitan roots, Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino takes on the story of his formative years, from his days in Naples when he watched soccer player Diego Maradona join the team to later family life and falling in love with cinema.

Last Night In Soho

Coming off his fabulous documentary that focused on the legendary showman John Sparks, Edgar Wright this time takes us to London in the 1960s, a decade that inspires a young woman named Rosa who starts her career as a fashion designer. Anya Taylor-Joy appears with swinging ’60s veterans Terence Stamp, Rita Tushingham, and the late Diana Rigg in her last film appearance with co-stars Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Matt Smith, and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie.

Parallel Mothers

Coming off the strong commercial and critical success of Pain and Glory, which was released two years ago, Pedro Almodóvar brings back Penélope Cruz — whom he has worked with numerous times, most recently in 2018’s Spanish Civil War epic, Can You Ever Forgive Me? — for their seventh project together in this story about a couple whose lives are dramatically altered when they become parents. Like his previous movies, the storyline feels like it comes from the mind of Almodóvar: the paths of two women cross in a Madrid maternity ward, with their lives bound together by a secret linked to an unresolved trauma in Spanish history.

The Power Of The Dog

From her preoccupation with investigating feminine psychology to the studies of forensic examinations that make up her work, Jane Campion’s newest feature is her first film in twelve years, which shows a female outlaw taking revenge on a patriarchal culture through a narrative set in 1925 Montana. From the Thomas Savage book of the same name, the movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons as a pair of rich cattle ranchers with their son, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Kirsten Dunst, who together disrupts their equilibrium.

Spencer

Natalie Portman shines in this new portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy. Pablo Larraín (known for No, Neruda, and others) has shown his masterful control in taking on a challenging task and transcending the genre of the bio-drama. In this scene, he envisions Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana at the beginning of her crisis when she makes the difficult choice to abandon her marriage and escape the cage of her poisoned fairy-tale life.

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