Reviews aplenty from the Lido!
Stephen Frears reunited with Judi Dench for Philomena, and the critics are more impressed this time around than they were with Mrs. Henderson Presents (which won Dench an Oscar nomination eight years ago). The competition title is lauded in a positive review by The Hollywood Reporter's Deborah Young, in which she also credits cinematographer Robbie Ryan and composer Alexandre Desplat. Not so keen on Desplat's contribution, but very much so on Ryan's, is Guy Lodge at HitFix. His B- report is one of the least complimentary. In contrast, Thompson on Hollywood's Matt Mueller comments that Dench and the film take your breath away. Robbie Collin writes in The Telegraph that the film is a long-shot for the Golden Lion, as others have too, but nevertheless rewards it four out of five stars.
Not so well received is The Police Officer's Wife, Philip Groning's follow-up to his acclaimed 2005 documentary Into Great Silence. All reports are that the film is overlong and pretentious, starting with Jay Weissberg's Variety pan. Both he and Boyd van Hoeij at The Hollywood Reporter consider the film 'an endurance test'. Oliver Lyttleton does have some praise for the three-hour film, but his C+ review in The Playlist is far from kind. Not even Little White Lies' David Jenkins seems to like the film much.
The Hollywood Reporter has been super-speedy with getting reviews up from Venice, and here are four more, including three directorial debuts. The Quispe Girls is given an excellent write-up by Jonathan Holland, David Rooney however is not nearly as impressed with La Belle Vie, while Boyd van Hoeij delivers a mixed report of Alienation. Roger Ebert didn't live long enough to see the sequel to 2005's Wolf Creek, which he abhorred, some adored, and for me just bored. The sequel, Wolf Creek 2 (wouldn't you know) screened out of competition at Venice, and Deborah Young confirms that it's rather similar to its predecessor.