Venice Film Festival: Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas bring star power

Spanish actors Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas brought star power to the Venice Lido on Saturday for the premiere of their comedy, “Competencia Oficial ” (Official Competition) at the 78th Venice Film Festival.

Directed by Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn the film sees Cruz play filmmaker Lola Cuevas, who is recruited by a billionaire entrepreneur who wants to make a movie.

The businessman also hires two of the most well-renowned actors in the world to star in his movie – Hollywood heartthrob Félix Rivero (Banderas) and theater actor Iván Torres, played by Argentine actor Oscar Martínez. Both actors are forced to confront their personal legacies while depicting the failings of cinema through a series of increasingly eccentric challenges set by Lola.

“The Queen’s Gambit” star Anya Taylor-Joy also launched her latest film on the evening, “Last Night in Soho”, written and directed by the creator of “Shaun of the Dead,” and “Baby Driver”, Edgar Wright.

The psychological horror follows Thomasin McKenzie’s character Eloise, who is transported back to London in the swinging sixties where she encounters a wannabe singer called Sandie (Taylor-Joy).

The movie was originally due to be released on September 25, 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

Meanwhile, Hollywood superstars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac made waves at the Lido when they arrived for a press conference for their new HBO drama, “‘Scenes from a Marriage”. The drama is adapted from Ingmar Bergman’s Swedish 70s classic and examines love, marriage and divorce through the eyes of Chastain and Isaac’s characters.

“Scenes from a Marriage” will also be competing for a coveted award at the Venice International film festival.

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