VENICE — American star George Clooney took the spotlight here at the Lido Island on Saturday, as his new movie Suburbicon premiered in the evening at the 74 edition of Venice Film Festival.
Based on an old script by famed American Coen brothers, Clooney’s last directorial work competes for the major Golden Lion prize this year, providing the audience with a dark, yet satirical story unfolding in an American suburb in the late 1950s.
The movie stars Matt Damon — here in his second role at Venice, besides playing the main character in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing — Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac.
The story’s background is a neat, all-white, seemingly “perfect-picture 1950s (America) suburb, where the best and worst of humanity is reflected through the deeds of ordinary people,” as the production described it.
Julienne Moore plays both the role of Damon’s wife, and that of his wife’s sister. Everything seems idyllic, until a break-in at Damon’s home turns deadly, his wife is killed, and the middle-class family husband turns himself into an amateurish killer, who gradually falls into an escalation of violence and revenge.
“This movie is about our (United States’) coming to terms with an issue, racism, that we have never really been able to address fully,” Clooney explained at a crowded press conference earlier in the day.
“We still have a lot of work to do, coming from our original sin of slavery and racism,” he added.
Beside the premiere screening of the movie, which was being considered as a strong competitor for the Golden Lion, fans and media on Saturday were keen to watch the Award-winning actor and director strolling on the red carpet with his Lebanese lawyer wife Amal Alamuddin.
For Venetian people, that marked the awaited return of a beloved couple, which has married precisely at Venice’s city hall some three years ago.