Saturday, May 25, 2024

Venice Film Festival Could Have Latest from Controversial Directors Roman Polanski and Woody Allen (Exclusive)


We already know Woody Allen’s excellent “Coup de Chance” is headed to the Venice Film Festival. I’ve seen it, it’s terrific, and should be a jolt to the festival.

Woody is “controversial,” of course, but whatever…let’s not get into it.

Now I’m told Venice is eyeing a new film by another controversial director, Roman Polanski.

Last year Polanski shot a new movie called “The Palace,” is Gstaad, Switzerland. The film stars legendary French actress Fanny Ardant, plus the likes of Mickey Rourke and John Cleese, of all people. Pawel Edelman is the cinematographer — he was nominated for an Oscar for Polanski’s “The Pianist,” they’ve worked together a lot. Music from Oscar winning composer Alexandre Desplat. So they’re not fooling around.

The log line: “A drama set on New Year’s Eve 1999 in a luxurious Swiss hotel where the lives of hotel workers and various guests get intertwined.”

Polanski can’t go to Italy without fear of being arrested, of course. It’s interesting that he made the film in Switzerland without any trouble. A few years ago he was detained there and couldn’t return to France or even Poland. Finally the situation was resolved but it really became an international incident.

Woody, of course, is welcome everywhere. Will he go to Venice? It’s unclear at his age if he needs all that tsuris.

“Coup de Chance” has distribution set up in other countries. I hope it gets a chance in the US. Audiences will really love it.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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