Venice Film Fest Unveils Lineup Featuring Clooney, Soderbergh, Polanski and Madonna

The 68th Venice Film Festival has unveiled its slate of films, and it's loaded with films we've been dying to see, a couple we're at least curious about and one we have seen.

The George Clooney-directed political drama "The Ides of March," starring Ryan Gosling, will kick things off Aug. 31, with White Stillman's "Damsels in Distress" bringing things to a close on Sept. 10. In between will be Madonna's directorial debut, and new films from Thomas Alfredson, Andrea Arnold, Roman Polanski, Abel Ferrarra, Yorgos Lanthimos, Steven Soderbergh and William Friedkin, to name a few.

You may recall that last year's winner, selected by a jury led by Quentin Tarantino was Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," which went on to bore critics and moviegoers alike, and later sparked a controversy when QT didn't even name it to his list of the year's 10 best films. Lets' hope this year's jury does a little better.

Here's this year's slate:

In Competition

The Ides Of March, directed by George Clooney (US), starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson (UK, Germany), starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt.

Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold (UK), starring Kaya Scodelario, Nichola Burley, Steve Evets, Oliver Milburn.

Texas Killing Fields, directed by Ami Canaan Maan (US) (second work), starring Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Quando La Notte, directed by Cristina Comencini (Italy), starring Claudia Pandolfi, Filippo Timi, Michela Cescon, Thomas Trabacchi.

Terraferma, directed by Emanuele Crialese (Italy/France), starring Filippo Pucillo, Donatella Finocchiaro, Giuseppe Fiorello, Claudio Santamaria.

A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg (Germany/Canada), starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel.

4:44 Last Day On Earth, directed by Abel Ferrara (US), starring Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta, Natasha Lyonne.

Killer Joe, directed by William Friedkin (US), starring Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon.

Un Ete Brulant, directed by Philippe Garrel (France/Italy/Switzerland), starring Monica Bellucci, Louis Garrel, Céline Sallette, Jérôme Robart.

A Simple Life (Taojie), directed by Ann Hui (China/Hong Kong), starring Andy Lau, Deanie Yip, Anthony Wong, Tsui Hark.

The Exchange (Hahithalfut), directed by Eran Kolirin (Israel) (second work), starring Rotem Keinan, Sharon Tal, Dov Navon, Shirili Deshe.

Alps (Alpeis),directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece), starring Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia, Aris Servetalis, Johnny Vekris.

Shame, directed by Steve McQueen (UK) (second work), starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge, Nicole Beharie.

L’ultimo Terrestre, directed by Gian Alfonso Pacinotti (GIPI) (Italy) (first work), starring Gabriele Spinelli, Anna Bellato, Roberto Herlitzka, Teco Celio.

Carnage, directed by Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Spain/Poland), starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly.

Chicken With Plums, directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (France/Belgium/Germany), starring Mathieu Amalric, Maria De Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Isabella Rossellini, Chiara Mastroianni.

Faust, directed by Aleksander Sokurov (Russia), starring Johannes Zeiler, Anton Adasinskiy, Isolda Dychauk, Hanna Schygulla.

Dark Horse, directed by Todd Solondz (US), starring Mia Farrow, Christopher Walken, Justin Bartha, Selma Blair.

Himizu, directed by Sion Sono (Japan), starring Shôta Sometani, Fumi Nikaidô, Tetsu Watanabe, Mitsuru Fukikoshi.

Seediq Bale, directed by Wei Te-Sheng (Taiwan) (second work), starring Da-Ching, Umin Boya, Landy Wen, Lo Mei-ling.

Out of Competition

Vivan las Antipodas!(documentary), Victor Kossakovsky (Germany/Argentina/Holland/Chile/Russia)
La Folie Almayer, Chantal Akerman (Belgium/France)
The Sorcerer And The White Snake (Baish Echuanshuo), Tony Ching Siu-Tung (China/Hong Kong)
Giochi D’estate, Rolando Colla (Switzerland/Italy)
La Desintegration, Philippe Fauchon (Belgium)
The Moth Diaries, Mary Harron (Canada/Ireland)
Alois Nebel, Tomas Lunak (first work) (Czech Republic/Germany)
W.E., Madonna (UK) (second work)
Eva, Kike Maillo (UK) (first work)
Scossa, Francesco Maselli, Carlo Lizzani, Ugo Gregoretti, Nino Russo (Italy)
La Cle Des Champs,Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou (France)
Il Villaggio Di Cartone, Ermanno Olmi (Italy)
Wilde Salome, Al Pacino (US)
Tormented, Takashi Shimizu (Japan)
Contagion, Steven Soderbergh (US)
Marco Bellocchio,Venezia 2011, Pietro Marcello (Italy) (documentary, short)
La Meditazione Di Hayez, Mario Martone (Italy) (short)
Tahrir 2011,Tamer Ezzat, Ahmad Abdalla, Ayten Amin, Amr Salama (Egypt) (documentary)
The End, Collectif Abounaddara (Syria)
Vanguard, Colleftif Abounaddara (Syria)
Evolution (Megaplex)(3D), Marco Brambilla (US)

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