Venice 76, Johansson and Pitt set fire to the Lido, Almodovar moves

Pedro Almodovar's great emotion. The breathtaking beauty of a Scarlett Johansson in the Jessica Rabbit version. The timeless charm of Brad Pitt. These are the three images that more than many others have characterized the second, intense and rich day of the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

But let's go with order … The first big event of the day was the meeting with the most loved Spanish director in the world, that one Pedro Almodovar who had so much talked about at the last Cannes Film Festival, where he had presented his most recent effort "Dolor Y Gloria" with Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. Well, the filmmaker of "Women on the brink of a nervous breakdown", "All about my mother" and "Volver" (just to name a few of his most famous titles) collected the Lido Golden Lion for his career, from the hands of the President of the Biennale Paolo Baratta. "Not a comforting prize for the failed Golden Palm at Cannes", had specified the artistic director Alberto Barbera in the press conference at the end of July, but an award already established well before the Côte d'Azur event. Concerning the prestigious recognition of the lagoon, Barbera declared: "Almodóvar is not alone the largest and most influential Spanish director after Buñuel, but the author who was able to offer the most articulate, controversial and provocative portrait of post-Francoist Spain. Almodóvar excels above all in painting incredibly original female portraits, by virtue of the rare empathy that allows him to represent the strength, the emotional richness and the inevitable weaknesses with a rare and touching authenticity ".

At the press conference the sixty-nine-year-old filmmaker from La Mancha said he was particularly honored to receive such a prestigious award, which he called "an act of poetic justice" recalling his first participation in the Exhibition in 1983 with "The indiscreet charm of sin". "At the time, the director was Gianluigi Rondi. The Christian Democracy was in the government. I was very young, I was not yet thirty-four. I lived the participation in a Festival as a sort of miracle, despite this my film was considered obscene: I remember that they wanted to remove it from the selection. In the end, however, my statements and those of Rondi went around the world thanks to the press and this managed to arouse a sort of empathy. And so the film was appreciated! After all, I really have a beautiful memory of that edition ".
Excited but generous in telling the details of his Venetian experiences, Almodovar also recalled his 1988 participation with "Women on the brink of a nervous breakdown". "It was all so exciting, so electrifying. The film won the award for best screenplay. I was and I'm still proud of that movie: Carmen Maura, Julieta Serrano, Rossy De Palma … they were all able to tell the Spain of the time through a vitality that was nothing short of contagious. At the time the president of the jury was Sergio Leone and among the jurors there was also Lina Wertmüller. I remember they told me that they loved my job very much, and that it was very important for them to have a film like mine in the competition. At 31 years from that meeting and from those words, I feel like considering this Golden Lion as an act of justice that is as poetic as it is political ".

To the Spanish director Pedro Almodovar the Golden Lion for career at the Venice Film Festival

Applause, excitement and consensus for a moved Almodovar, who warmed the hearts of journalists and experts in the early part of the day, kissing his Golden Lion and playing with photographers. Real ovation in the evening on the red carpet for the presentation of "Marriage Story", the new film by New York director Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale", "Young One Becomes", "The Meyerowitz Stories") with Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern and Adam Driver. The long wait for the arrival on the red carpet of the divine Scarlett has been amply repaid by the actress, who showed off a he put really breathtaking. Red dress by Celine with rhinestone mermaid, strapless with pointed bodice, crotch slit, open back to reveal a great tattoo with a branch of roses, smooth wet hair, smokey eyes look. A diva in the style of Jessica Rabbit, super sensual and provocative, which gave great emotions especially to the many boys present behind the barriers.

Sexy and provocative Scarlett Johannson on the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival

The co-star is no less acclaimed Laura Dern, very elegant in a long olive green dress signed by Gucci, with glittered floral applications to decorate the entire front. Interesting wide three-quarter sleeves in voile, the silk band on the hem and the black waist belt with glitter.

Laura Dern very elegant and acclaimed at the Venice Film Festival

Consensus decidedly more moderate for the film, competing for the Golden Lion. "Marriage Story ”touched the audience of journalists, who welcomed it in a rather shy way the story of this pair of artists (he Adam Driver in the guise of a theater director living in New York, she Scarlett Johansson in the role of an actress who moves to Los Angeles) who has to go through the pain and agony of a divorce . A very autobiographical work for the filmmaker Baumbach, and with various grips for personal reality also for Johansson.

Laura Dern, Scareltt Johansson and Adam Driver stars in "Marriage Story" by Noah Baumbach

"When I met Noah to talk about this project he had in mind, I was just facing a divorce (from her second husband Romain Duriac, ed), "said Scarlett at a press conference. "Noah didn't know, as I had no idea what he wanted to propose to me. I've known Noah for a long time, I trust him a lot, we have a very open dialogue. And this role has magically arrived at the right time, I believe it was destiny, but sharing that pain did me good ”.
About the script, the director revealed: "I found out that when something doesn't work anymore it's the moment when we understand it better, it's like looking at your home from the outside. It was important for me to know that I could count on Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, two actors who, when acting, get lost in the part but at the same time always have control. At the end of a sequence I needed time to break away from the scene, I went for a walk. Seeing them at work was like seeing two athletes facing and challenging each other ".

Noah Baunmbach competing at the Venice Film Festival with the film "Marriage Story"

Tepid consents to the screening reserved for the press, even for another expected film competing for the Golden Lion. The New York director James Gray ("The Masters of the Night", "Two Lovers", "Once Upon a Time in New York") presented "Ad Astra", a film written by himself with Ethan Gross, co-produced and starring Brad Pitt, flanked by Liv Tyler, Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland. Science fiction genre, "Ad Astra" follows the story of Major Roy McBride (Pitt), an astronaut who travels across the borders of the solar system to track down his missing father. But it will end with bringing to light a mystery that threatens the survival of planet Earth, discovering secrets that will change the nature of human existence and the place of man himself in the universe.

Brad Pitt convincing astronaut in the film "Ad Astra" by James Gray

"It's one of the most difficult roles I've faced in my career"Brad Pitt told the press conference. "The story told is very intimate, delicate, it took great balance and control in interpreting that character. I knew that my acting had to be measured and careful, to make the plot develop in a delicate and just way. Also for this reason we have called to work with us a series of friends with whom we had already worked. I am very happy with the balance we have achieved, it is very close to the discussions we have had since the beginning ".
A story full of quotations, cinematographic and not only, the one narrated in "Ad Astra", as confirmed by the director. "One of the most beautiful things about cinema is that it is a combination of all the other arts: there is painting, there is dance, there is choreography, there is cinematography, of course, there is theater, c 'is the drama and even literature has a role in the narrative. Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I really believe in fiction. I was obsessed with Moby Dick and wanted to use themes that don't have time. I believe in the power of myth, I took archetypes to make this film ".

Perhaps the film was not entirely convincing, but on the red carpet Brad Pitt and his mates certainly won great applause and approval. An evening red carpet full of VIPs from our home and beyond, on which a beautiful Madalina Ghenea (in a dress completely covered in rhinestones, with a romantic neckline and a long train), the model Bar Rafaeli (in a simple black dress, which emphasizes the curves of her belly), a sophisticated Liv Tyler ( in a long black asymmetrical dress, to leave the shoulders and part of the back uncovered) and the director James Gray with his wife Alexandra Dickson Gray.

Bar Rafaeli, Liv Tyler, James Gray and Alexandra Dickson Gray on the red carpet in Venice

Outbursts of joy, the crackling of photographers' flashes and great applause from the public have underlined the arrival of a Brad Pitt who grows older and acquires charm, very elegant in a classic black suit with a black bow tie. The star gave himself generously to the many fans huddled behind the barriers, who waited for him for hours with mobile phones (ready to take selfies) and markers ready for autographs. Once again Brad did not disappoint. For the joy of film buffs, aesthetes and admirers in search of Festival memorabilia!