Yesterday marked the start of 2015’s Venice Film Festival – regarded by many as the unofficial start to Oscar season, with the year’s most critically acclaimed films getting their debut bow. Yesterday saw real-life action adventure Everest kick-off proceedings, but with a paltry 69% on rotten tomatoes, it is unlikely to be following previous openers Gravity, Black Swan and Birdman to Oscar glory. There was a more positive response to the Idris Elba-starring Beasts of No Nation, from True Detective Season 1 director Cary Fukunaga.
The film is an adaptation of a 2005 novel about child soldiers in an unnamed African country and has been getting rave reviews from critics; unlike many of the films playing at festivals, Beasts of No Nation is actually going to get a wide release – it is the first major film to be distributed by Netflix, where it will premiere on October 16.
Finally, director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Win Win) has premiered his new movie Spotlight, the most Oscar-friendly of the three premieres; an A-list cast fronted by Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams play Boston Globe journalists unveiling the child abuse scandal by catholic priests in the city. The film may be an uneasy watch, but it clearly is a rewarding one, with many citing it to be thrown into the (pun alert) spotlight come Oscar time. Tomorrow, the festival sees the world premiere of Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp as gangster Whitey Bulger.