Thrillers to terrorize Venice in Golden Lion bid

Thrillers to terrorize Venice in Golden Lion bid

Thrillers to terrorize Venice in Golden Lion bid The oldest film festival in the world is going big on nail-biters this year, with thrillers dominating the race for Venice’s coveted Golden Lion award, organizers said on July 28. 

Stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are expected to be among the A-listers spotted posing on the red carpet or hopping into gondolas at the gala’s 74th edition.

“Körfez” (The Gulf), a Turkish-German-Greek co-production by Turkish director Emre Yeksan will compete for the Lion of the Future Award at the 74th Venice Film Festival. 

The film, Yeksan’s debut feature, depicts the new life of Selim when he returns to İzmir in his 30s after he divorces his wife. The film will make its world premiere at the festival. 

Hollywood heavyweight Ethan Hawke will star in director Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” a spine-chiller about members of a church who are tormented by the deaths of loved ones and harboring a dark secret.

It goes up against hotly-awaited “mother!” by Darren Aronofsky, the U.S. director behind the 2010 psychological horror film “Black Swan.” Starring Jennifer Lawrence, the film tells the tale of a couple thrown into turmoil by uninvited guests.

And Britain’s Martin McDonaugh, best known for the 2008 black comedy “In Bruges,” will hope to suitably unnerve the jury with thriller “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” starring Frances McDormand as a middle-aged mother who challenges police after her daughter is murdered but no killer is found.

It’s not all white-knuckle suspense: the beachside festival on the Lido island, which runs from July 30 to Aug. 9 and is set to feature 21 world premieres, will kick off on a lighter tone.

Oscar-winning U.S. director Alexander Payne’s latest sci-fi comedy “Downsizing” will open the show, starring Matt Damon as a man who realizes he would have a better life if he shrank, and Kirsten Wiig as his indecisive wife.

U.S. greats Robert Redford and Jane Fonda will be celebrated with Golden Lion lifetime achievement awards.