There are always two or three films that run into critical difficulty at any Venice Film Festival. I’ve already noted that Jennifer Kent‘s The Nightingale may (I say “may”) encounter some degree of pushback. I heard a while back that Damien Chazelle‘s First Man may be principally appreciated for its technical chops. I was told yesterday that a film I won’t name is “a third-rate wannabe Kubrick” that nonetheless “will be highly praised.” It’s been further asserted that Laszlo NemesSunset (a Cannes snub) and Florian von Henckel Donnersmark‘s Never Look Away (aka Work Without Author) may encounter mixed responses. Who knows?

The late afternoon sun is beginning to set on the Venice lagoon, the vaporetti are chug-chugging back and forth between the main city and the Lido, and credentialed critics (including Variety‘s Guy Lodge) are unpacking their bags, sharpening their #2 pencils and thinking about where to get dinner. It all begins tomorrow morning at 8:30 am with an early-bird-catches-the-worm press screening of First Man.