Venice Film Festival 2023: Top 8 Must-See Films

The Venice Film Festival is a captivating blend of cinematic splendor and cultural celebration, where the world’s most talented filmmakers gather to unveil their latest masterpieces. The year 2023 brought yet another wave of remarkable films to the historic canals of Venice. Let’s embark on a cinematic journey through the Venice Film Festival 2023, unveiling the top 8 must-see films that left us awe-inspired and eager for more.




Director: Luc Besson

Running Time: 114

Language: English

Country: France

Cast: Caleb Landry Jones, Jojo T. Gibbs, Christopher Denham, Clemens Schick, Grace Palma

Synopsis: The incredible story of a child, bruised by life, who will find his salvation through the love of his dogs.

Why you should watch: It seems like it will be a story of triumph, especially after life hasn’t been so kind. It’s a unique love story and shows how everyone wants to love in some capacity.  



La Bête (The Beast)

Director: Bertrand Bonello

Running Time: 146

Language: French, English

Country: France, Canada

Cast: Léa Seydoux, George MacKay

Synopsis: In the near future, where artificial intelligence reigns supreme, human emotions have become a threat. To get rid of them, Gabrielle must purify her DNA by returning to her past lives. There, she reunites with Louis, her great love. But she’s overcome by fear, a premonition that catastrophe is coming.

Why you should watch: This might be our reality, so let’s prepare lol. Let’s explore how they show a world where emotions are a threat.




Director: Bradley Cooper

Running Time: 129

Language: English

Country: USA

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Josh Hamilton, Scott Ellis, Gideon Glick, Sam Nivola, Alexa Swinton, Miriam Shor

Screenplay: Saverio Costanzo

Synopsis: Maestro is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. A love letter to life and art, Maestro, at its core, is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love.

Why you should watch: An unknown love story. Why not? Love will always be a powerful message. Ironically enough, this film was met with backlash from certain people due to the creative direction taken with character appearances. This film is based on an actual man, and in its creation, they worked closely with his family. This says they will try to bring as much depth and genuineness to the film as possible.     



Finalmente L’alba

Director: Saverio Costanzo

Running Time: 140

Language: Italian

Country: Italy

Cast: Lily James, Rebecca Antonaci, Joe Keery, Rachel Sennott, Alba Rohrwacher, Willem Dafoe

Screenplay: Saverio Costanzo

Synopsis: Finalmente l’alba is the night-long journey of the young Mimosa who, in the Cinecittà of the 1950s, becomes the protagonist of hours she will never forget. A night on which the girl will turn into a woman.

Why you should watch: Who doesn’t like a good coming-of-age story? A story by way of the director morphed into a redemption piece. A film about the redemption of simple, naïve individuals, those who can still look at the world in wonder. Sounds like it will be a film we can all escape into.



Aku Wa Sonzai Shinai (Evil Does Not Exist)

Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Running Time: 106

Language: Japanese

Country: Japan

Cast: Hitoshi Omika, Ryo Nishikawa, Ryuji Kosaka, Ayaka Shibutani, Hazuki Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Miura

Screenplay: Ryūsuke Hamaguchi

Synopsis: Takumi and his daughter Hana live in Mizubiki Village, near Tokyo. Like generations before them, they live a modest life according to the cycles and order of nature. One day, the village inhabitants become aware of a plan to build a glamping site near Takumi’s house, offering city residents a comfortable “escape” to nature. When two company representatives from Tokyo arrive in the village to hold a meeting, it becomes clear that the project will harm the local water supply, causing unrest. The agency’s mismatched intentions endanger both the ecological balance of the plateau and their way of life, with an aftermath that affects Takumi’s life deeply.

Why you should watch: It’s no surprise how selfish society can be regarding planetary concerns. This film will help us understand how something as simple as a glamping site can heavily impact a community of people. Though this story may not be true, capitalism’s impact on the environment is, and we’ve all taken advantage of that. This film should help us consider how we impact others and want to act.   



Poor Things

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Running Time: 141

Language: English

Country: UK

Cast: Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Suzy Bemba, Jerrod Carmichael, Kathryn Hunter, Vicki Pepperdine, Margaret Qualley, Hanna Schygulla

Screenplay: Tony McNamara

Synopsis: The incredible tale and fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter, a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter. Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn, a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.

Why you should watch: Interestingly different. This should make you curious to see how they will take a tale of death and life and tie it up in an equality and liberation bow. Yes, this has the potential to go in a good or exhausting direction, but this film could also be pleasantly surprising.      




Director: Michael Mann

Running Time: 130

Language: English

Country: USA

Cast: Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Sarah Gadon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O’Connell, Patrick Dempsey

Screenplay: Troy Kennedy Martin

Synopsis: It is the summer of 1957. Behind the spectacle of Formula 1, ex-racer Enzo Ferrari is in crisis. Bankruptcy threatens the factory he and his wife, Laura, built from nothing ten years earlier. Their volatile marriage is battered by the loss of their son, Dino. Ferrari struggles to acknowledge another with Lina Lardi. Meanwhile, his drivers’ passion to win pushes them to the edge as they launch into the treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy, the Mille Miglia.

Why you should watch: A film like this can help expose you to knowledge you may not know about the Ferrari family. Yes, there will be some truth, and then there will be some Hollywood embellishment, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. Considering this film is a timepiece, and Ferrari is still around today, it’s easy to predict that Ferrari came out on top. But it’s still a worthy watch to see part of the journey. 




Director: Fien Troch

Running Time: 103

Language: English

Country: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France

Cast: Cathalina Geeraerts, Felix Heremans, Greet Verstraete, Serdi Faki Alici, Els Deceukelier, Maya Louisa Sterkendries, Robby Cleiren, Sara De Bosschere

Screenpaly: Fien Troch

Synopsis: 15-year-old Holly calls her school to say she is staying home for the day. Soon after, a fire breaks out at the school, killing several students. With everyone touched by the tragedy, the community comes together, trying to heal. Anna, a teacher, intrigued by Holly and her strange premonition, invites her to join the volunteering group she runs. Holly’s presence seems to bring peace of mind, warmth, and hope to those she encounters. But soon, people begin to seek out Holly and her cathartic energy, demanding more and more from the young girl.

Why you should watch: This film seems interesting because the storyline is not typical. It goes in a direction opposite to the audience’s expectation, and that is Holly not being a main suspect because of the fire, but a beacon of hope to the situation. It’s also interesting to focus on how people leach off of one’s warmth. It isn’t discussed enough how demanding more of a person’s energy can be draining.

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