If there is one thing we know about Italians – they love them some George Clooney. They’re not getting Monuments Men but they are getting Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. The pic will open the fest in the crowded pre-Oscar season, August 28, 2013. Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton and The Ides of March hit the Lido. Clooney lives in Italy and spends so much time there they seem to have claimed him as one of their own. The Venice – Oscar connection is there, even if it isn’t as direct a line as Telluride and Toronto. The Hurt Locker and The Wrestler made their mark in Venice, as did Black Swan. It can also sometimes derail an otherwise promising film as it did with Sofia Coppola’s unfairly maligned Somewhere after it won the top prize, beating Black Swan. If you’ve been following along with us so far you might imagine a similar scenario had the Bling Ring beat Blue is the Warmest Color in Cannes. Thus, it seemed to have set up Somewhere to fail.