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OscarWatch: The Master, To the Wonder Head to Venice

UPDATE: The Master has now been added to the TIFF lineup as well.

Whether Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master would go to Venice or not seemed to be in dispute over the past few days but now it looks like The Master and Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder will take a bow at la Biennale between August 29 and September 8.  It really is a smart move for both because the Venice lineup was looking very very weak in terms of finding “Oscar movies.”  The Master, and maybe To the Wonder (but you just never know) will likely dazzle the crowd there and make a big publicity over here. Since no one has seen The Master, at least no one who will talk about it, all eyes will now be on Venice where one of the year’s most anticipated films will be seen.

Writes Anne Thompson:

Harvey Weinstein is playing games. The marketing maestro didn’t want Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” announced with the rest of the pack for The Venice Film Festival, which unveiled its competition line-up last week.  Now “The Master,” which opens a month earlier than originally planned on September 14, along with Terrence Malick’s fervently-anticipated “To The Wonder,” will suck up the publicity oxygen in the run-up to and during the La Biennale.

It remains to be seen which fests the film will wind up playing: Venice yes, but what about Telluride, Toronto and Fantastic Fest?  This fall Harvey Weinstein has plenty of high-profile projects to juggle as well, from David O. Russell’s “The Silver Linings Playbook” to December 25 opener “Django Unchained,” written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

I’m still hoping The Master will go to Telluride.  But yes, Venice is a very very smart move.