Oscar season is set to launch with Venice film festival opener ‘First Man’

It’s official. Oscar season is about to commence with the start of the 75th annual Venice International Film Festival, which runs through Sept. 8.

This celebration of world cinema blasts off with the premiere of Damien Chazelle’s biopic “First Man,” which stars Ryan Gosling as the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. The director’s “La La Land” also claimed the coveted opening-night spot in 2016 and went on to win six Academy Awards, including Best Director and lead actress for Emma Stone. Other recent Venice entries that went on to awards glory include 2013’s “Gravity,”2015’s “Birdman” and last year’s Oscar choice for Best Picture, “The Shape of Water.”

“Gravity’s” Alfonso Cuaron is back with “Roma,” an intimate remembrance of his childhood in 1970s Mexico. It is his first non-English film since his breakout with 2001’s “Y Tu Mama Tambien” with visual wow factor of “Gravity.” Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Lobster”) will premiers “The Favourite,” which captures the royal intrigue on the court of Queen Anne with Olivia Colman along previous Oscar winners Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

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Any awards season usually benefits from the Coen brothers being involved, and this year the “True Grit” guys are back in the saddle with an anthology-style Western, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Another highly anticipated entry making its bow is “Suspiria” from “Call Me by Your Name’s” Luca Guadagnino. Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, who previously appeared together in the Italian filmmaker’s “A Bigger Splash,” star in the ballet-themed horror remake of Dario Argento’s classic.

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Here is hoping that the fifth iteration of the ultimate Hollywood tale, “A Star Is Born,” lives up to its titillating trailer as Lady Gaga  in her first major movie appearance opposite her co-star Bradley Cooper, who makes his directing debut.

Telluride pops up this weekend while the Big Kahuna, the Toronto film festival, kicks off Sept. 6 and runs through the 16th. Check our Oscar predictions sites frequently updated reactions come in from fest-goers and fans.

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