Venice International Film Festival 2019 Scorecard

Aaaaand here comes awards season 2019, as Venice stages the 76th iteration of its film fest, mere days before the Toronto International Film Festival, as a presage of the industry campaigning mayhem in the coming weeks and months. This year’s Venice Film Festival boasts a number of big ticket premieres, including the so-serious Joker, James Gray’s Ad Astra, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, and opener The Truth, from Hirokazu Kore-eda. Will these and the rest of this year’s selections have the same cultural impact as previous Venice premiere highlights of this decade, like Roma, The Shape of Water, Black Swan, or Arrival? Maybe Joker…if the fickle arthouse crowd shows up at the box office.

Epilogue: Joining the likes of Alfonso Cuarón, Andrei Tarkovsky, Agnès Varda, Guillermo Del Toro…Todd Phillips! His Joker nabs the Golden Lion, an incredible win for a provocative genre film. With that, see every movie at Venice this year that got a Tomatometer!


Marriage Story (2019)

Adjusted Score: 110.968%
Critics Consensus: Observing a splintering union with compassion and expansive grace, the powerfully acted Marriage Story ranks among writer-director Noah Baumbach's best works.
Synopsis: A stage director and his actor wife struggle through a grueling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and... [More]
Directed By: Noah Baumbach

Adjusted Score: 95.903%
Critics Consensus: About Endlessness sees writer-director Roy Andersson surveying the human condition with equal parts striking clarity, tenderness, and deadpan existential wit.
Synopsis: About Endlessness is a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, its splendor and banality. We wander,... [More]
Directed By: Roy Andersson


Babyteeth (2020)

Adjusted Score: 99.961%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and sensitively directed, Babyteeth offers audiences a coming-of-age story that's messier -- and more rewarding -- than most.
Synopsis: When seriously ill teenager Milla falls madly in love with smalltime drug dealer Moses, it's her parents' worst nightmare. But... [More]
Directed By: Shannon Murphy


Citizen K (2019)

Adjusted Score: 96.761%
Critics Consensus: Citizen K sees documentarian Alex Gibney training his sights on post-Soviet Russia, with engrossing -- and unsettling -- results.
Synopsis: Oscar (R) winning writer/director Alex Gibney's revelatory CITIZEN K is an intimate yet sweeping look at post-Soviet Russia from the... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney


Mother (Madre) (2020)

Adjusted Score: 92.252%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ten years have gone by since Elena's six-year old son has disappeared. The last thing she heard of him was... [More]
Directed By: Rodrigo Sorogoyen


Ema (2019)

Adjusted Score: 91.93%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and powerfully acted, Ema puts a thoroughly distinctive spin on its story of emotional trauma and self-discovery.
Synopsis: After a shocking incident upends her family life and marriage to a tempestuous choreographer, Ema, a reggaeton dancer, sets out... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Larraín

Adjusted Score: 94.253%
Critics Consensus: A message movie admirable for its subtlety as well as its execution, The Perfect Candidate faces oppression and powerfully advocates for change.
Synopsis: A revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia from director Haifaa Al-Mansour (WADJDA), THE PERFECT CANDIDATE... [More]
Directed By: Haifaa Al-Mansour

Adjusted Score: 94.762%
Critics Consensus: The Truth may not stand with Hirokazu Kore-eda's best work, but it finds the writer-director revisiting familiar themes with a typically sensitive touch.
Synopsis: Legends of French cinema Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche join masterful filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda (Shoplifters, Still Walking) to paint a... [More]
Directed By: Hirokazu Koreeda


Joker (2019)

Adjusted Score: 93.998%
Critics Consensus: Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star -- and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema.
Synopsis: "Joker" centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips


Ad Astra (2019)

Adjusted Score: 99.687%
Critics Consensus: Ad Astra takes a visually thrilling journey through the vast reaches of space while charting an ambitious course for the heart of the bond between parent and child.
Synopsis: Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and... [More]
Directed By: James Gray


The Painted Bird (2020)

Adjusted Score: 86.208%
Critics Consensus: Brutally uncompromising in its portrayal of Nazi Germany, The Painted Bird is a difficult watch that justifies its stark horror with searing impact.
Synopsis: In an effort to save their child from the massive extermination of Jews, a Jewish couple send their son to... [More]
Directed By: Václav Marhoul


The King (2019)

Adjusted Score: 76.644%
Critics Consensus: While The King is sometimes less than the sum of its impressive parts, strong source material and gripping performances make this a period drama worth hailing.
Synopsis: Hal (Timothée Chalamet), wayward prince and reluctant heir to the English throne, has turned his back on royal life and... [More]
Directed By: David Michôd


Martin Eden (2020)

Adjusted Score: 88.307%
Critics Consensus: Martin Eden uses one man's quest for fulfillment as fuel for an ambitious -- and often rewarding -- look at a complex array of social and personal themes.
Synopsis: Set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy's history yet adapted from a 1909 novel by American author Jack London,... [More]
Directed By: Pietro Marcello


Seberg (2020)

Adjusted Score: 41.56%
Critics Consensus: Seberg's frustratingly superficial treatment of a fascinating true story does a disservice to its subject -- and Kristen Stewart's performance in the central role.
Synopsis: Seberg is inspired by true events about the French New Wave darling and Breathless star, Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart), who... [More]
Directed By: Benedict Andrews

Adjusted Score: 77.451%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On January 5, 1895, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young promising officer, is degraded for spying for Germany and is sentenced... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

Adjusted Score: 32.847%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1941, the Allied forces hire Yu Jin (Li Gong), a Chinese actress, to work on the ground in Shanghai... [More]
Directed By: Lou Ye

Adjusted Score: 65.787%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The desperate struggle of a mother for her emotionally injured adoptive daughter leads to an extreme decision.... [More]
Directed By: Katrin Gebbe


The Laundromat (2019)

Adjusted Score: 47.814%
Critics Consensus: The Laundromat misuses its incredible cast by taking a disappointingly blunt and unfocused approach to dramatizing the real-life events that inspired it.
Synopsis: When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh


Wasp Network (2019)

Adjusted Score: 43.462%
Critics Consensus: Wasp Network's talented cast makes this spy drama hard to ignore, even if the mystery at the heart of its storyline is too tangled for its own good.
Synopsis: In the late 80s and early 90s, rebel groups based in Florida enact violent attacks on Cuba to protest Castro's... [More]
Directed By: Olivier Assayas


Guest of Honour (2020)

Adjusted Score: 44.255%
Critics Consensus: David Thewlis' performance aside, Guest of Honour serves as a frustratingly limited return to form for writer-director Atom Egoyan.
Synopsis: Jim (David Thewlis) and his daughter Veronica (Laysla De Oliveira), a high school music teacher, attempt to unravel their complicated... [More]
Directed By: Atom Egoyan

Adjusted Score: 56.457%
Critics Consensus: Admirable in theory but disappointing in execution, Waiting for the Barbarians struggles to turn strong performances and worthy themes into affecting drama.
Synopsis: The Magistrate (Mark Rylance) of an isolated frontier settlement on the border of an unnamed empire looks forward to an... [More]
Directed By: Ciro Guerra

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