Director Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers movie The Laundromat, which stars Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman, is also on the festival’s line up. Haifaa Al-Mansour, who is the first female director to shoot a movie in Saudia Arabia, will screen her new film The Perfect Candidate at the festival. Controversially, Roman Polanski’s latest An Officer and a Spy will also play at Venice. Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last year because of his 1977 rape conviction. He’s taking legal action in an attempt to be reinstated.
Venice, along with Toronto and Telluride, is a festival where awards hopefuls have often launched their campaigns. In recent years, Oscar best picture winners including The Shape of Water and Birdman have been screened for the first time at the Italian festival.
This year’s event is being seen as one with a fewer number of Oscar hopefuls in the line-up compared to 2018, where the world premieres included A Star Is Born, First Man, and The Favourite.