Venice to award Golden Lion after strongly political 80th edition

VENICE-The Hollywood strike may have robbed Venice of its usual bevy of stars, but the world’s oldest film festival, which concludes Saturday, proved it is still a launchpad for major awards contenders and political statements. From the biopics of Enzo Ferrari, Priscilla Presley, and Leonard Bernstein to devastating migrant dramas, there have been some very strong contenders at the 80th edition of the festival on Lido island. The year’s Golden Lion is being decided by a jury led by director Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) and including Jane Campion and Laura Poitras, who won last year with Big Pharma documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”. The last of 23 films in competition was “Memory”, which screened on Friday and could be a last-minute contender for awards with its moving and morally complex tale of a recovering alcoholic befriending a man with dementia. Its star, Jessica Chastain, was one of the few Hollywood stars able to attend the festival as the movie was given an exemption by striking unions because it was made outside the studio system.

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