The Italian Almanac

Gwyneth Paltrow

Italian News - September 2

The 62nd edition of what promises to be the most star-studded Venice Film Festival ever got underway on Wednesday evening. George Clooney, Russell Crowe, Spike Lee, Gwyneth Paltrow and Harrison Ford are just some of the Hollywood stars expected to light up the lagoon city over the next 10 days.

Clooney stepped into the limelight Thursday when he presented Goodnight and Good Luck, one of 20 films running for the Golden Lion award. The Hollywood heartthrob's second directorial effort is the story of CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, played by David Strathairn. The film is a reminder that US journalism can be as brave as Murrow, who was branded a communist after his run-ins with Senator Joseph McCarthy, the man behind the 1950s 'McCarthy witch-hunts' against left-leaning figures.

Venice also welcomed directors Emir Kusturica, Spike Lee, Ridley Scott and John Woo on Thursday. The filmmakers all shot parts of The Invisible Children, an out-of-competition feature-length film that tells the stories of seven marginalized children in different parts of the world.

Gwyneth Paltrow is expected to arrive to promote Proof - one of Goodnight and Good Luck's main Golden Lion rivals - in which she is the daughter of a mathematical genius, played by Anthony Hopkins. Another star who may be nursing hopes of a best actress Golden Lion is Juliette Binoche. In Abel Ferrara's Mary, the French beauty plays the part of an actress who becomes obsessed with the figure of Mary Magdalene after interpreting her in a film.