So many potentially great films are set to premiere at the 75th annual Venice Film Festival. It was announced in February that Guillermo del Toro will be the jury president. His film “The Shape of Water” won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director last year, but before that it was awarded the coveted Golden Lion by the festival’s jury.

Our future Best Picture winner may be among the list, lead by one of our most predicted films: “First Man” directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash).

Other festivals openers include: Downsizing, Everest, Birdman, Gravity, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Ides of March, and Black Swan. So as you can see, “opening film” doesn’t mean much from an award-prognostication standpoint.

Anyway, here’s that list:

Beach Bum (Harmony Korine)
Destroyer (Karyn Kasuma)
Death and Life of John F. Donovan (Xavier Dolan)
Domino (Brian de Palma)
First Man (Damien Chazelle)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)
High Life (Claire Denis)
Maya (Mia Hansen-Love)
The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent)
Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas)
Norway (Paul Greengrass)
Old Man and the Gun (David Lowery)
Other Side of the Wind
Outlaw King (David Mackenzie)
Peterloo (Mike Leigh)
Radegund (Terrence Malick)
Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)
Share (Pippa Bianco)
Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard)
Star is Born (Bradley Cooper)
Wendy (Benh Zeitlin)
Widows (Steve McQueen)

A few thoughts:

Widows, Roma, A Star is Born, Peterloo, Old Man and the Gun, The Favourite, First Man, and Destroyer are all being predicted in multiple categories by us now. Some will fall, some will rise as more eyes fall on them.

Wendy, Share, Outlaw King, and Beach Bum were all questionable to be released this year. If any of them land hard, I wouldn’t be surprise if a studio pushed them out there for an award’s run before the end of the year.

Paul Greengrass, Terrance Malick, Olivier Assayas, Brian de Palma, and Xavier Dolan are all proven talents (some more than others), their films aren’t on any of our predictions as of now.

Should be a great festival then Toronto, Telluride, and New York will follow to assure any reactions we will see out of Venice. What are you most excited about?